November 22-26, 2017
Teatro do Bairro, Lisboa
The Bear by Anton Chekhov
A Duel in One-Act
Cast & Crew
In the course of his life HE has seen more women than she has seen sparrows.
SHE shall be faithful to her departed husband to the grave.
Written in 1888, The Bear is a provocative and passionate theatrical joke.
The plot revolves around Smirnov, a fiscally straitened landowner with all the finesse of a smoking blunderbuss, making a desperate but futile round of his debtors to raise money to pay off his creditors. Antipathy towards the fairer sex makes him delay going to see a woman debtor, the recently widowed and mourning Popova, till the very last hour, and as a last resort. When Smirnov forces his way into her house, his boorish temperament and her sense of melodramatic suffering result in a explosion of long suppressed grudges against the opposite sex. The ensuing hysterical clash of personalities climaxes in a challenge to a duel, unexpectedly leading to one of the most tender love scenes in a Chekhov story. The monologues rank with the best of The Seagull, and the deep-rooted disgruntlement is as lethal as in Uncle Vanya.