Russian Uncle Vanya comes to NoŽl Coward in NovemberDate: 12 April 2012
Moscow-based company Vakhtangov Theatre will bring Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya to the Noël Coward this November, the second transfer in what producers hope could be a regular Russian theatre season in London.
Rimas Tuminas' multi award-winning modern interpretation of Chekhov’s turn of the century classic will play a five-night run from 5 to 10 November 2012.
The show follows in the footsteps of Moscow’s Sovremennik Theatre Company which staged Three Sisters, Into the Whirwind and The Cherry Orchard at the Noël Coward in January 2011.
Uncle Vanya is presented by Artsbridge Ltd and producer Oksana Nemchuk who was also behind bringing Sovremennik Theatre Company to London last year.
Speaking about the new production Nemchuk said in a press statement: "I now understand the importance of bringing these unique and previously unseen Russian theatre productions to the West End.
"I hope this return to the Noël Coward will mark the beginning of a regular Russian theatre season in London."
Sovremennik's visit marked the first time in 20 years a major Russian theatre company had performed in the West End.
Last year's triple bill was made possible with "generous support" from Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich. It has not been confirmed if the oligarch is involved in bringing Uncle Vanya to London.
In Vakhtangov's production of Uncle Vanya there’s no Chekhovian mansion, no cosy arm-chairs, no table laid for lunch with a lacy tablecloth and hot samovar; no feeling of ‘home’ where several generations have lived.
The company of Vakhtangov Theatre's Uncle Vanya.
Instead Rimas Tuminas has released the stage from the familiar and the domestic, leaving behind a battlefield of passions, broken illusions and unrealised hopes. Daily life turns imperceptibly into poetry, the drama acquires a tinge of tender irony and every detail on the stage arouses the audience's emotions.
Anton Chekhov’s turn of the century play follows Vanya and his niece Sonya, who have managed an estate on behalf of their relative, Serebryakov, for the last twenty-five years.
Serebryakov, who was married to Vanya’s late sister, returns with his beautiful young wife Yelena as he announces the plan to sell the estate upon retiring. Amid a melancholy mood the play offers love, comedic relief and hopefulness weaved within a troubled family story.
First published in 1897, Uncle Vanya received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Stanislavski.
Michael Frayn's translation of the play, which was prepared for the 1988 Vaudeville Theatre revival starring Michael Gambon and Jonathan Pryce, is currently being staged as the opening production in Chichester Festival Theatre's 50th anniversary season. The play, directed by Laurence Olivier, was part of the first Chichester season back in 1962.