Theatre News

Andrew Scott to star in West End Vanya, playing all the roles

Simon Stephens adapts Chekhov in the new solo show

Andrew Scott ©Oliver Rosser Feast Creative
Andrew Scott ©Oliver Rosser Feast Creative

WhatsOnStage Award-winner Andrew Scott (Present Laughter, Sea Wall) will star in a solo version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, titled Vanya. 

The piece, adapted by Simon Stephens (Sea Wall) and directed by Sam Yates (The Phlebotomist), will see Scott play all the roles normally taken on by a company of performers. Stephens’ piece is billed as a “masterpiece of love, art, sex and attempted murder.”

Scott explained today: “Heartbreaking, hilarious, sexy, devastating- the genius and extraordinary humanity of Mr Chekhov just knocks me out. It’s a genuine honour and a singular challenge to bring this giant of a play to life in the West End in this new way and I’m so excited to be doing it alongside such brilliant, playful and talented people.”

The show will play for an initial preview period at Richmond Theatre in south London from 28 August to 2 September, before a West End season beginning at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 15 September, with performance dates through until 21 October. Tickets go on general sale tomorrow at 9am (come back here for more), with an ATG member sale beginning today.

Stephens added: “Anton Chekhov is my favourite writer. Andrew Scott is as good an actor as there is in the world. Sam Yates is an artist of the highest order. To work with these people in the heart of the West End; to be fearlessly creative and exploratory there; to have only the impulse to make art is all utterly thrilling. This is work that reminds me again and again that theatre is our greatest art form. The most alive. The funniest. The sexiest. The most heartbreaking. The most human.”

Rosanna Vize will design the piece, with further creative team members to be confirmed. Yates commented: “It is a joy to collaborate again with Andrew Scott, an actor of singular sensitivity and power, on Simon Stephen’s adaptation of Vanya. Chekhov’s play is life-affirming and heart-breaking, and places human behaviour under the microscope. Vanya will push this examination to a new level, harnessing the power of the unique connection between actor and audience possible only in the theatre. 

“Andrew’s inexhaustible invention and heart will be central to telling this story, a celebration of the multitudes we contain within ourselves, that we may collectively laugh at our imperfections, de­spair at our failures, and celebrate our compassion. I am delighted to be working with dynamic and daring Emily Vaughan-Barratt and Benjamin Lowy of Wessex Grove to bring Vanya to the West End and introduce this play to a new generation of audiences.”

The first performance at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 15 September will be for under 30s. All tickets are priced at £10, and patrons can apply for two tickets in a ballot. Further details for this will be announced shortly.

Lowy and Vaughan-Barratt reflected on the endeavour: “At its heart, theatre is all about collaboration. When we began to collaborate with Andrew, Sam, and Simon on this project, we knew this illustrious trio would create something incredibly special.  These three are artists at the top of their game, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Simon’s Vanya to the West End.

“As producers, the creative team pushed us to think outside the box and help create a new generation of theatre-goer. Therefore, we are happy to announce an exclusive performance for under 30s with tickets at £10, enabling greater access to this incredible production.”

At every London performance, a limited number of £30 tickets will be available via a weekly lottery.

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Closed: 02 September 2023


Final performance: 21 October 2023