On the High Road

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A one-act play by Anton Chekhov. Original Russian title На большой дороге, also known as On the Highway in English or by the fuller title full title On The High Road; A Dramatic Study.

The original text

Based on his 1883 short story In Autumn (Осенью) it tells the story of a group of misfits who meet in a wayside inn. (In 1886 Chekhov also published a short story called On the Road (На пути), with a similar setting.)

Written and submitted for censorship in 1885, it was turned down for performance and banned, and never performed during Chekhov's lifetime. The text of the play was only published after his death.

While Chekhov thought the play too melodramatic, the original story apparently provided Gorky with ideas for the plot of Lower Depths.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans as Oppad ("On the road") from the original Russian by Alice Smith.

Performance history in South Africa

2014: Alice Smith's Afrikaans translation performed as part of the Chekhov Festival at the The Fringe at Joburg Theatre in June and directed by André Stolz, with André Lombard, Danielle Retief and Riana Wilkens. Zanta Hofmeyr on violin and Maciej Lacny on cello played themes from Rachmaninoff.


Anton Chekhov The Chorus Girl and Other Stories , translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett. New York: The Macmillan Company, March, 1920.


Vera Gottlieb 1982 Chekhov and the Vaudeville: A Study of Chekhov's One-act Plays Cambridge:Cambridge University Press[1]

Final week of Chekhov Festival at The Fringe, Artslink.co.za Headlines 11/06/2014[2]

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