This quintessential Chekhov drama--his first success--is both comic and tragic. A group of friends and relations gather at a country estate to see the first performance of an experimental play written and staged by the young man of the house, Konstantin, an aspiring writer who dreams of bringing new forms to the theatre.
Henry Hobson runs a successful boot-maker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford. A widower with a weakness for the pub opposite, he tries forcefully to run the lives of his three unruly daughters. When he decrees 'no marriages' to avoid the expensive matter of settlements, eldest daughter Maggie rebels and sets her sights on Will Mossop, Hobson's star boot-maker. Maggie and Will leave to start up in competition, and she then turns her mind to helping her sisters marry their chosen partners.
A group of people are shipwrecked when their yacht runs around on a South Pacific island. The usable hierarchy in a upper-class British family breaks down quickly when it becomes apparent that only the servant Crichton is capable of surviving on his own and he becomes the communities leader.
A pair of Millionaires argue the value of money, and make a wager. Give a homeless man an ultra rare $1,000,000 bill (pounds in Britain version). Tell him that if he spends it, it's his. But, if after 1month, he can return the Note intact, he gets $5 million (?). He tries to spend it. He tries to buy a suit, meals, rent a hotel room. Everyone assumes he is an eccentric millionaire, and refuses his money. Until the Note is misplaced (stolen?), then everyone insists on getting paid.
In rural 1840's Scotland, Gavin Dishart arrives to become the new "little minister" of Thrums's Auld Licht church. He meets a mysterious young gypsy girl in the dens and to his horror Babbie draws him into her escape from the soldiers after she incites a Luddite riot. But unknown to Gavin, Babbie is more than she seems. And they must overcome her secret, the villagers' fears of her, and worst of all, Gavin's devotion to his mother's sensibilities, before they can openly declare their love.