Track 3 is an absurdist reimagining of Chekhov’s Three Sisters that blows a raspberry pavlova at tradition, dumping the naturalism of the original in favour of high-tempo burlesque comedy.
The story remains the same – with the eponymous siblings stranded in a Russian backwater dreaming of marriage and Moscow – but just about everything else is turned on its head.
It opens with the sisters (played with spry charm by Caitlyn Conlin, Dylan Jones and Kendra Chell) dancing around their parlour, counting the time in coffee spoons, until their rhythm is finally broken by the appearance of a rogue fork. After that it’s eighty odd minutes of impeccably choreographed mayhem incorporating vaudeville, kalinka dancing, 70s disco and cheesy Las Vegas-style stand-up.
The American troupe behind the play – Theatre Movement Bazaar – barely stops moving once, like a well-oiled runaway train that’s charging gleefully through the taiga. It’s the company’s sixth Chekhov adaptation and clearly there is great affection for the old man despite the fun they are having spicing up the borscht with pop culture references to the Monkees and So You Think You Can Dance. You don’t need to know the original play to enjoy this show, though if you do perhaps you’ll better appreciate the melancholy that lurks underneath the high-jinks. Towards the end that serious edge does make you realise how odd an idea it is to spoof such a specific play (rather than the whole genre like Woody Allen did with ‘Love and Death’) though it would be mean-spirited to say that this was a fault. Track 3 is fun, refreshing and weird in a way that is hard to resist.
Track 3 is on at Greenwich Theatre until 31 August.
Londonist saw this play on a complimentary press ticket.