On The Evils Of Tobacco

Anton Chekhov
No Frills Theatre Company
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

On The Evils Of Tobacco

Under the stated aim of delivering a charitable lecture, Markel Ivanovich Nyukhin (Andrew Hogarth) begins to set out his case for the argument against the use of tobacco.

Despite not being an academic of any sort, his gusto and passion is clear, only perhaps the real target of his ire is less what goes in his pipe and more what waits for him at home. He’d undoubtedly give an interesting talk on the subject if he wasn’t so preoccupied with other annoyances.

Chekhov’s short comic monologue is as wittily acerbic as it ever was, and No Frills Theatre Company has done a fine job in bringing it to the stage.

Nyukhin, or The Scarecrow, as his wife calls him, is quite that; a shabbily dressed and somewhat dishevelled chap. Hogarth portrays the hen-pecked old mouse with delightful glee, imbuing him with a welcoming affability, as well as enough nervous glances around to show he expects to be roundly told off any moment.

It’s a mirthful and enjoyable piece of theatre, if a little brief. You could certainly spend your time in far worse ways this August. For one, you could be married to Nyukhin’s wife.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan

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