top of page


Anton Chekhov


Every word Chekhov wrote about the theatre


Translated, with an introduction and Commentary by Stephen Mulrine


Compiled by Jutta Hercher and Peter Urban


Chekhov started writing about theatre in newspaper articles and in his own letters even before he began writing plays. Later, he wrote in detail about his own plays to his lifelong friend and mentor, Alexei Suvorin, his wife and leading actress, Olga Knipper, and to the two directors of the Moscow Art Theatre, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko.






Collected here in Stephen Mulrine’s vivid translations, these writings reveal Chekhov’s instinctive curiosity about the way theatre works—and his concerns about how best to realize his own intentions as a playwright. Often peppery, passionate, even distraught as he feels his plays misinterpreted or undermined, Chekhov comes over in these pages as a true man of the theatre.


“Chekhov is an acute observer who could easily have made his way as a director or dramaturg judging by his ability to spot strengths and weaknesses in not only his own writing but that of others. This book builds a strong picture of theatrical life in Moscow and St Petersburg just before and at the turn of the last century, with vast amounts of bitching seemingly commonplace. It can also serve as a tangential autobiography since, through its pages, it is possible to learn much about its subject’s life and work.”  —British Theatre Guide


Stephen Mulrine’s translations from Russian range from Chekhov to Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, and Gorky, to contemporary works by Gelman and Yerofeev, whose cult 1970s novel Moscow Stations, adapted as a monologue, was performed by Tom Courtenay in  London and New York.  Mulrine’s Uncle Vanya was selected in 2008 to open the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, by Sir Peter Hall. He resides in Glasgow, Scotland.


256 pp • 5 ½ X 8 ½ • US
ISBN: 978-1-62316-028-9 
E-Book Editions Also Available


 • Shakespeare on Theatre (978-1-62316-032-6)

bottom of page