STC’s The Present is heading to Broadway

Last year Sydney Theatre Company staged The Present, a new adapatation by Andrew Upton of Anton Chekhov’s first play, Platonov. The production was incredibly popular and the run sold out. Now, the show is heading to Broadway for a limited engagement in 2016.

With the Sydney Theatre Company all-Australian cast including Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh, The Present will be directed by John Crowley. Set and costume design is by Alice Babidge with lighting design by Nick Schlieper. Stefan Gregory is Sound Designer and Composer.

Richard Roxburgh and Cate Blanchett. Image by Lisa Tomasetti.
Richard Roxburgh and Cate Blanchett. Image by Lisa Tomasetti.

Known as Platonov, Wild Honey, Fatherlessness and The Disinherited, Chekhov’s first play came to light several years after the writer’s death. Upton’s version is set in a Russia of the 1990s, in an old country house. Friends have gathered to celebrate Anna Petrovna’s birthday.

Bec Caton, in her review of the production for AussieTheatre, wrote:

“Under Crowley’s tense direction, Upton’s confronting and insightful artistic vision and the ability of the cast to truly encapsulate the insecurities and complexities of the characters, The Present takes us on a journey of emotional turmoil and intellectual questioning, forcing us in the audience to question where we are in life, how we got there and whether we’re able to reach the potential we once dreamed for ourselves.”

Blanchett, who will be making her Broadway debut, was described by Caton as “a complex dichotomy of grace and power”; Roxburgh, who will also be making his Broadway debut, was heralded as speaking to “the truth of human experience.”

For more information about this Broadway bow, The Present, and Sydney Theatre Company, visit

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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