It seems to be a paradox of life that on one hand everything passes, but on the other hand everything stays the same… Two middle-aged ladies, Tania and Varia – an estate-owner’s wife and a doctor – write a letter to their childhood friend Kolia, who now works as a lawyer in Moscow, inviting him to spend some time with them in the country. Kolia arrives happily, looking forward to a short vacation, unsuspecting that the invitation was not free of a hidden agenda. Tania’s husband Sergei has brought their estate nearly to ruin with his ill-advised business ventures and Tania is counting on Kolia’s help in making Sergei see sense and getting them out of the conundrum. Varia, on the other hand, is hoping to revive some tender feelings that she and Kolia once shared. To his surprise, Kolia also discovers that Tania’s little sister Natasha has grown up to be a beautiful woman with her own dreams and expectations.

Longing is about longing. About not knowing what to do. About broken hearts. And about life that still goes on despite everything. The British author William Boyd, who based his play on Anton Chekhov’s short stories My Life and A Visit to Friends, has managed to catch one of Chekhov’s recurring themes – a relentless nostalgia for something or someone, a longing to be somewhere else, someone else or with someone else, without asking oneself, whether I’m actually doing anything to change the situation.

William Boyd, born in 1952 in Ghana, is a renowned British writer, whose novels, several of which are placed in Africa or the Philippines, often analyse the viability of Englishness in the modern, globalising world. Boyd has also written an official sequel to Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories. Longing, written in 2013, was his first play. Find out more from www.williamboyd.co.uk.

The production includes some scenes where people smoke.