Ionesco? The Chairs? You thought that they were footnote to history? It's time to reconsider (The New York Times, March 1998)
For weeks we were terrified that the piece would not work, would not be in the least bit funny. So we had to approach it as if it in total seriousness- said Simon McBurney about working on his revival of Ionesco's The Chairs- one of the most famous Theatre D'Absurd pieces.
Full of surreal and nihilistic humour- described by Ionesco himself as a tragic farce- the story of an old couple trying to pass a message to the mankind, has been, according to press reviews, enriched in Complicite's production with metaphysical mystery. Geraldine McEwan Richard Briers' performance as the old couple was described by almost all the major newspapers as mesmerising.
The Chairs received six Tony Nominations and six Drama Desk Nominations. Geraldine McEwan (The Old Woman) was awarded with Time Out Live and Barclays/TMA Theatre Awards for Best Actress.
The production opened in 1997 and was performed on Broadway for 12 weeks in 1998.