Anton Chekhov’s tragi-comedy The Seagull certainly didn’t need another English-language version, and Thomas Kilroy’s adaptation (now playing through Nov. 3 at Off Broadway's Lynn Redgrave Theater for the Culture Project) doesn’t lose or gain much by moving the melodrama from the Russian countryside to an Anglo-Irish estate in Ireland.
In a crowded ensemble of lovelorn drips, Trudie Styler shines as Isobel (Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina in the original Russian), an aging actress obsessed with her own fame but what’s missing is a captivating Trigorin, the self-interested author who anchors the play (named Mr. Aston in this version). English actor Alan Cox lacks the maddening charm to make you believe Mr. Aston can allure and possibly destroy two women, and the entire play suffers for it.
Still, if you’re a fan of Chekhov’s rhythms and trademark lack of action, director Max Stafford-Clark doesn’t stray too far from the original spirit of this classic, but his production is unlikely to win new fans. B
(Tickets: cultureproject.org or 866-811-4111)