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Giving this classic story a new twist

The People's Theatre, in Newcastle, is staging Tom Stoppard's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's, The Seagull, from tonight.

The People's Theatre, in Newcastle, is staging Tom Stoppard's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's, The Seagull, from tonight.

On a beautiful country estate we find a famous actress, her son, her lover, a group of family, followers and friends.

Love is in the air, but distrust and heartbreak linger. Within the household, success is dreamed of, failure is dreaded. Love goes unrequited, dreams are left unfulfilled and jealously prevails.

Chekhov described The Seagull as a comedy with ... a landscape, lots of talk about literature, little action and a ton of love.

Stoppard's translation, while true to Chekhov's intentions, expertly brings out the pace, irony and humour. It was first performed in 2001 in Central Park, New York City, with a cast that included Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Natalie Portman.

Stoppard has written and adapted numerous well-known plays and films, including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Shakespeare in Love, the latter earning him an Oscar for best original screenplay.

The Seagull runs from tonight until Saturday. Tickets are £8.50 (£6.50 concessions). More details on (0191) 265 5020, or log on to www.peoplestheatre.co.uk

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