The Russian Doctor

The Russian Doctor

The Russian Doctor


The Russian Doctor

The Russian Doctor

The June talk will be given by performer Andrew Dawson, with neurophysiologist Jonathan Cole. They will be talking about their project the Russian Doctor.

In 1890, Anton Chekhov journeyed alone for three months across 5,000 miles of Siberian wilderness to make good on his commitment to medicine. His destination: the remote Tsarist penal colony of Sakhalin Island. His goal: to document the living conditions of the exiles and convicts incarcerated there.

But what was Chekhov really seeking on Sakhalin? And what did he find there? How would his self-imposed exile affect him?

On his return he wrote the first of his four great plays and Sakhalin Island – a chronicle of his experiences and his largest single work. Inspired by this book, performer Andrew Dawson, with neurophysiologist Jonathan Cole, reveals the alchemy ignited by the scientist’s powers of close observation and the writer’s instinctive vision.

Through a mesmerizing collage of image, sound, original live music and movement, The Russian Doctor plumbs the mysteries of the island, conjuring the 10,000 inhabitants and evoking the resonances of the writer-doctor’s experiences there.

An exploration of the impossibility of escape, The Russian Doctor is a meditation on freedom.

The Russian Doctor premieres in UK in October 2014 and is presented first at Theatre Royal Winchester in March 2014 as a work in development with the support of a Large Arts award from Wellcome Trust

“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other” – Anton Chekhov