Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya promo image
One hundred years from now: Those who came after us. For whom our lives are showing the way. Will they think kindly of us?
Season: 28 April - 14 May 2016, Wednesday–Saturday 8pm
Preview: 28 April, 8pm
Matinees: Saturday 7 & 14 May, & Sunday 8 May, 2pm

This production is closed


A retired professor and his beautiful young wife return to his country estate, provoking jealousy, lust, frustration and revelations!

Venue Theatre 3

Cast

Sam Hannan Morrow - Vanya
Jim Adamik - Astrov
Neil McLeod - Telegin
Jerry Hearn - Serebryakov
Alice Ferguson - Marina
Yanina Clifton - Sofya
Lainie Hart - Yelena
Antonia Kitzel - Voyniyzky
Jonathan Pearson - Yefim

Director's notes for Uncle Vanya

The lyrics of George Gershwin’s song “But Not For Me” contain a couple of lines which encapsulate what has remained to this day the prevailing belief that Chekhov’s plays are gloomy affairs.

“I found more clouds of grey
Than any Russian play could guarantee”

I believe that this dark view of Chekhov is a radical misinterpretation and stems from the initial interpretation made by Stanislavski who directed Chekhov’s dramas for the Moscow Art Theatre. Stanislavski insisted that Chekhov’s plays were tragedies despite the fact that the author insisted that they were comedies. Critics and directors have for the most part agreed with Stanislavski and the result has been a long line of desperately sad productions in which the essential futility of life is presented to audiences. Nothing could be further from the view of life that Chekhov was attempting to portray. Of course, any reading of Uncle Vanya will make one aware that this play is not some rollicking bedroom farce, but the play is full of subtle humour and expresses an essentially positive view of life. Far from being a forerunner of the school of Absurdist dramatists who present a world in which there is “Nothing to be done”, Chekhov was a believer in the possibility and need for progress. Uncle Vanya is a gentle exhortation for people to work in order to make life better for future generations and, at the same time, a critique of those who “Do nothing” to bring this about. Written at the end of the nineteenth century Uncle Vanya contains an astoundingly relevant depiction of the appalling effects of environmental degradation and perhaps makes us aware of how little has been done to solve environmental problems in the hundred and nineteen years since the play was written. We hope that our production of Uncle Vanya provides with an experience that is both serious and amusing and with not too many “clouds of grey”.