Sub-titled 'Die Seemeeu' (The Seagull) in cinemas this weekend

Director Christiaan Olwagen has taken on the daunting task of adapting the classic 1895 Chekhov play 'The Seagull' for the big screen, setting it in South Africa in the 1990s.

The movie is shot in Afrikaans, with English sub-titles.

South Africa's own theatre icon Sandra Prinsloo plays the role of the diva, Irene, and chats to Africa Melane about the production.

The film is based on the original Afrikaans stage rendition, which Prinsloo also starred in.

It's still Chekhov's story, it's Chekhov's play, but I think in the film even more so the South African-ness of the production comes out.

Sandra Prinsloo, Actor

It's about this family who gather for holidays in the platteland as it were, each one of them with their own issues and their boredoms and their loves.

Sandra Prinsloo, Actor

The actor says the production remains faithful to Chekhov's themes and dialogue, which are relevant to contemporary South Africa.

People often just don't say what they need to say or want to say, I think they're so caught in whatever situation they are, be it political, be it personal, be it social and people really don't easily speak about the things that trouble them deeply... and I think Chekhov really hits it on the nail.

Sandra Prinsloo, Actor

The film features the original cast of the play, whom Prinsloo says are outstanding.

I don't think you could have put a better cast together, from the smallest part to the biggest... every one, it's a gem of a performance.

Sandra Prinsloo, Actor

I would go to war with them, they're just absolutely amazing.

Sandra Prinsloo, Actor

Listen to the full discussion about 'Die Seemeeu' below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Sub-titled 'Die Seemeeu' (The Seagull) in cinemas this weekend


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