Sons Without Fathers. The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
A TALE of Sex, vodka and forgotten dreams - Sons Without Fathers is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's first play, Platanov and follows a group of vodka drinking thirty somethings who blame the lack of a father figure for the state they now find their lives in.
Set in Russia, the trimmed down version of the original six hour long play focuses mainly on the predicament of the younger generation, encouraging a modern audience to draw their own parallels.
Jack Laskey plays the lead role of Platonov - a village school teacher who is loved by all women and finds himself involved in a string of extra marital affairs.
While clearly showing no respect for his simpleton but adorable wife Sasha, you cant help but be drawn to Platanovs passionate character and rugged good looks.
His ambition for a better life and to become a better man is swamped by his weakness for drink and women - even towards the end when he has the chance to start a new life with the refined Sophia, who does seem to be the real love of his life.
I did find this performance fairly lengthy and dark but the hints of humour did help to break up what is, on the whole, a fairly intense and dramatic play.
Although this is an edited version of the original six hour production, for me the final part of the play was a little too drawn out.
I could not fault the standard of acting, however - Jack played a convincing leading role and special mention should go to Simon Scardfield who played Nikolai and Jade Williams as Maria.
Until May 4.