ANTON CHEKHOV is regarded as one of the great writers of the 20th century.

Arguably, not far behind Will Shakespeare in the popularity stakes with theatrical gems such as Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard.

But the Russian playwright's short stories are equally revered. Many viewed as masterpieces that vividly depict Russian life and the human condition. He published his first volume of stories, Motley Tales, in 1886.

In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts is an innovative piece of theatre laced with live music from Dragonboy Productions playing Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre on Wednesday, October 9 (8pm).

Adapted by Eliot Giuralarocca, the stage production promises to be an exhilarating, fun and accessible romp through some of the best of Chekhov’s short stories, including The Lady with the Little Dog, The Chemist’s Wife, At a Summer Villa, An Avenger and The Bear.

Eliot - who also directs the show - says the wonderful hymns to the absurdity of everyday life, are by turns hilarious, romantic, poignant, odd and memorable: "I’ve always loved Chekhov’s short stories, I first read them about 20 years ago and since then they have always stayed with me.

"They hold the mirror up to the half-comic, half-painful experience of love and relationships and create a world in which the tender and the grotesque are inextricably linked. Ludicrous situations and larger than life characters abound.

"I wanted to create a dynamic, exhilarating piece of theatre, with original live music and presented in a style that celebrates and relishes the theatricality of storytelling itself. I started working on adapting these stories about a year ago, thinking of them as a bit like folk tales to be spoken aloud as if sat around a fire on a winter’s night.

"I’ve created an ensemble of five actor/musicians to perform them and after months of marketing and selling the show to theatres we are just about to rehearse the show in three and a half intensive weeks. We will play a troupe of nomadic Russian Gypsies that arrive in front of the audience pulling their carts behind them, carts that contain everything needed to tell the stories - costumes, props, musical instruments, chairs, rugs and so on."

By turns romantic, hilarious, odd and memorable, at their heart, they are stories about people desperately trying to connect with each other sometimes comically, sometimes poignantly.

Box office 01539-725133.