Directed by Tim Schulz and written by Liberty Martin, Cheryl Mayer and Lauren Stapleton,
15% of The Seagull makes for a pleasant hour’s viewing, although it is by no means unmissable.
With a cast of just two to put on a play that traditionally requires 10 main characters, Liberty and Cheryl struggle to get permission to put on The Seagull. After a series of comical interactions with publishing companies, they are left with the sole option of evading copyright regulation by putting on just 15% of the play. Though polar opposites, the academic Liberty and flippant Cheryl are forced to stop bickering and find common ground in the goal of producing a piece of “great theatre.”
The show provides a light-hearted representation of the acting world: the show opens with a series of short, stereotyped representations of actor types. From the audition room to the church confessional, the manicure salon and the psychiatrist’s office, Mayer and Martin provide a series of varied yet relatable portraits that get good laughs from the audience. They aren’t afraid of the odd pun either, especially when finding props has Cheryl “running around like a headless Chekov.”
The pair complement each other well, and although the play is almost slapstick in nature and its main aim is to get the audience giggling, the actresses’ genuine talent shines through. Mayer’s delivery of a passage from Chekov’s play (recited in earnest) demonstrates her ability for classic dramatics. Martin takes on the ironic part of playing the terrible actress with admirable gusto. 15% of The Seagull makes for a pleasant hour’s viewing, although it is by no means unmissable.