Image of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper: I Take Your Hand In Mine, by Australian Classical Theatre

A passionate and enduring record of the extraordinary love affair between celebrated author Anton Chekhov and actress Olga Knipper — written by Carol Rocamora and directed by multi award winning director Ariette Taylor

I Take Your Hand In Mine

Anton Chekhov is known the world over for his writings on love, and yet the most memorable of Chekhov’s love stories is not one that he wrote, but rather one that he lived—with Olga Knipper, actress and leading lady of the Moscow Art Theatre.

Image from the March 2011 performance: The High Life (Paul English and Anastasia Malinoff)

The Story

The story spans six short years, in which they play evolving roles—first as playwright and actress, then as lovers, then as husband and wife, and finally as invalid and caretaker, until Chekhov’s untimely death at the age of 44.

Most of that time they spent apart by necessity—she at the Moscow Art Theatre, he in exile in Yalta, suffering from consumption. And yet they shared more than a full lifetime of love and theatre as their relationship flourished and survived almost insurmountable obstacles through a constant stream of letters.

This play is the passionate and enduring record of their extraordinary love affair, directed by multi award winning director Ariette Taylor and produced by multi award winning company ACT.

Image from the March 2011 performance: I Touch You (Paul English and Anastasia Malinoff)

Production

The first showing of the play took place at a public reading by husband and wife team Stewart Morritt and Anastasia Malinoff at fortyfivedownstairs on August 23rd 2010 at 6:30pm. Subsequent performances took place at the same venue in November and December, 2010, read by Paul English and Anastasia Malinoff.

A series of curriculum performances was held in March, 2011 (pictured left), at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. The performers were Paul English as Checkov and Anastasia Malinoff as Olga. The show was generously supported with a grant from Banyule City Council. You can view the flyer for this event, as well as Study Notes.

A one-off performance was held in May, 2011, as part of the Regional Arts Victoria Showcase.

For more information about further performances, please contact us.