Celebrations have begun around the world to mark the 150th birthday of Anton Chekov, one of Russia’s most loved and universally acclaimed playwrights.
The festivities began at his grave in Moscow where dozens of people gathered to pay homage.
For German director Peter Stein, Chekov still connects with audiences today because he is as important as the Greek tragedies and Shakespeare.
“These are the three basic columns of European theatre. Shakespeare reinvented the Greeks for modern times and Chekhov for the 20th century,” said Stein.
The Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky was also full of praise for the man behind classics such as Uncle Vanya and the Cherry Orchard.
“I like Chekov because he gives me lots of food for thought, from the beginning, and he makes me better.”
Although his myriad of short stories are enormously popular in Russia, it is his theatrical contribution to world drama that earned him international fame.