On The Harmful Effects of Tobacco
A Monologue by Anton Chekhov
Saturday 6 April, 20:30
“It is what it is, it’s all the same to me”, Ivan’s prologue. Is that ostensible latency the main element of Ivan Ivanovich Nyukhin, the character of the monologue “On the harmful effects of tobacco”?
The plays of Chekhov have definite intensity and the fire of action, but not in an external outline rather than in their internal structure. Under this ostensible latency and inertia of his characters, is hidden a multifarious and complex activity which is given with original virtuosity and deep knowledge of the psychical temper of every character. Possibly because these characters are mirroring his personal psychical status: the tyrant father, the solitude of his childhood, the loneliness of the boring small town where he grew up. This play is not a comedy either a drama. It is an excellent narrative of an ordinary person, a psychography given in a literary way which reflects the still and depressive life of the delusional society of Tsarist Russia.
The way Ivan is “moving” looks like he lost his orientation in life. There is a force inside him that makes him unmovable. He is giving a lecture on the harmful effects of tobacco though he is smoker himself. Why? So many unfulfilled dreams, Don Quixotic ambitions condemned to fail into the dull routine of daily life.
In our interpretation of the play there is something “new”, like the sense of hope that a new born baby is giving.
We welcome you to discover it!
Vasiliki Koutrouli – Roberto Bacchilega