Chasm of Sorrow – The Russian Doctor



Chasm of Sorrow – The Russian Doctor from Andrew Dawson on Vimeo.

The first performances of The Russian Doctor were in Winchester on 27th & 28th March and in Reading south street 6th April 2014

The Project  had a 2 week residency at MassMoca in Massachusetts with a performance on the 9th May


Andrew Dawson, neuroscientist Jonathan Cole, explore Chekhov’s extraordinary journey across Siberia to visit the penal colony on Sakhalin Island in 1890. The project is grounded in this astonishing, singular exploration. At great personal risk he toured settlements, interviewed thousands of people and categorized disease and living conditions in one of the largest epidemiological studies of its time, publishing the results in a book, ‘Sakhalin Island’ (1893/94) which combined his literary observation with medical data in an attempt to humanise conditions there.

We have just returned from Sakhalin, here is the frozen sea, an amazing sight.


The project is a dramatic adaptation of the book. This will explore Chekhov’s relevance today as pioneering epidemiologist and biomedical historian, and how his experience in this penal colony influenced his subsequent, more famous, literary output.

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