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Previewed 24 October 2012, Opened 2 November 2012, Closed 26 January 2013 at the Vaudeville Theatre in London
A major revival of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in London starring Ken Stott, Anna Friel and Samuel West in an adaptation by Christopher Hampton and directed by Lindsay Posner.
Vanya, Yelena, Astrov and Sonya are all in love, with the past, with ideals and with each other. As their universe shifts around them they struggle to keep their emotions at bay in this exquisitely evoked comedy of the trials and tribulations of the human condition.
The cast for this production features Ken Stott as 'Vanya', Anna Friel as 'Yelena' and Samuel West as 'Astrov'. The production is directed by Lindsay Posner with designs by Christopher Oram.
"Good for Lindsay Posner, the director of this pitch-perfect production, for not choosing a big-star name to play the title role, but a proper, solid stage actor in Ken Stott. He specialises in lugubrious characters and there's a lot of that doomed comedian in his Vanya. Vanya has the thankless task of running the estate of his brother-in-law, Serebryakov, an ageing, pompous professor who's played with aplomb by Paul Freeman... In the play's dramatic high point, Vanya shoots Serebryakov and misses. Tragic but also funny, it is a scene that is as Hancockian as it is Chekhovian in Stott's hands. He is a member of a fine ensemble.. the acting honours go, however, to Laura Carmichael as Sonya, Vanya's plain niece... If you are into depressing plays, this production is, paradoxically, an unalloyed joy." The Sunday Telegraph
"Laura Carmichael's plaintive, plain Sonya is one of the strengths of Lindsay Posner's exceptionally starry but disappointingly lacklustre revival. Her blushing joy when she dares to say how much she loves Astrov is wretchedly moving. Few of the other performances have sufficient intensity either to pierce or amuse, though Samuel West cuts a dash as Astrov, dapper and idealistic but emotionally shrivelled... Stott captures Vanya's grumpiness and frustration, but he's neither as ridiculous nor as sympathetic as he might be. Christopher Hampton's witty version has its moments... but Posner's very trad, stuffy approach is slowed by lengthy scene changes, when one over-exquisitely aged and distressed setting in the wooden dacha is replaced by another rather similar one... This production is perfectly competent but never makes one see or hear the play afresh." The Mail on Sunday
"Christopher Hampton's crisp, unshowy translation provides dialogue that moves faster than the action. This has long pauses for ripples on a piano and is - I never thought I would say this of one of the best designers now working - further slowed down and cramped up by Christopher Oram's chalet-like set. Anna Friel acts with a sharpness and delicacy that she hasn't before shown on the stage; Samuel West brings his usual intelligence and clarity to the part of Astrov. Yet there is no central turbulence. This is heritage Chekhov." The Observer
Uncle Vanya in London at the Vaudeville Theatre previewed from 24 October 2012, opened on 2 November 2012 and closes on 26 January 2013 (was originally scheduled to close on 16 February 2013).