On a stage lit in chiaroscuro, an actress and a human sized puppet wander together in the universe of Chekov’s The Seagull. Tchaïka, aging actress with a spotty memory suddenly finds herself on stage. Behind her, a young woman reminds her why she is there: to play Arkadina in her goodbye to the stage in her favorite Chekov play. But the set, the text and the other characters are lost to her. For better or for worse she tries to get past the debilitation that causes her to confuse the play with reality.
With this dizzying play within a play the actress and her puppet double – Tchaïka means “seagull” in Russian – confront the generations and alternate a to and fro in and out of the past with the actual plot of the play. To choose to continue or to abandon; to renounce playing young Nina is the choice which Tchaïka must make. With an atmosphere of sweet melancholy and with a preciseness of evocation, Tita Iacobelli and Natacha Belova raise the art of puppetry to the rank of devastating performance.