'Ivanov', 'The Seagull', 'The Cherry Orchard', 'Uncle Vania', 'Three Sisters', 'The Bear', 'The Proposal', 'A Jubilee'.
Chekov wrote that "narrative is my legal wife and drama a flamboyant, rowdy, impudent, exhausting mistress". As a playwright he was subversive, even revolutionary, breaking away from the prevailing fashions of contemporary theatre to create an exhilarating new form of drama.
At a time when the Russian stage was dominated by farces, formulaic melodramas and vaudevilles, Chekhov created plays without heroes and villains, focused instead on the individual grappling with a moral dilemma. In place of the happy ending came ambiguity, in place of dramatic conflict came the solitary quest. He defied his audience's expectations, and the premiere of his first major play, 'Ivanov' (1887), was met with bafflement, rage and scorn.
With sensitive explorations of the themes of love, work and time, their complex characters and their blurred boundaries between sorrow and comedy, his plays remain as provocative and subtle today.