About eighteen months ago, we found ourselves in conversation with David Lan, artistic director of the Young Vic, about the work of Anton Chekhov. The conversation had begun with talk of the Thames, and how the river rolls out a wide ribbon of nature through London, and through the lives of the people who live there. We talked about stories of place and belonging, how the idea of home is deeply embedded in wider landcapes in which we build our houses, and raise our families, and live out our lives, finding connections between our own experience of this and the experiences of the characters who populate Chekhov’s stories. David asked if all this was a starting point for a new project. It was, and the result is Above Me The Wide Blue Sky.
Eighteen months later and we’re back at the Young Vic, preparing for the opening of the project (I’m not saying “the show”… because it isn’t a show… it’s an installation, it’s a performance, it’s a prose poem, it’s an elegy, it’s a song without tune, without music, singing life, singing home; it’s memory; it’s loss; it’s a thing. It’s the thing that revealed itself during research and during devising, and the thing that came out of that conversation, all those months ago…)