Monday, January 20, 2020
Uncle Vanya @ Harold Pinter Theatre...
Directed by Ian Rickson and starring Toby Jones and Richard Armitage this production of the classic story of boredom, frustration, unrequited love is fresh, funny, and full of outstanding performances. Jones is excellent, as is Armitage.
Conor McPherson’s new adaptation is great; life at the turn of the 20th century - with its tumultuous frustrations, dark humour and hidden passions - is made as relevant and as vital then as it is at the turn of the 21st. Bitter-sweetness abounds.
It is the heat of summer. Sonya (Aimee Lou Wood) and her Uncle Vanya (Toby Jones) while away their days on a crumbling estate deep in the countryside, visited occasionally only by the good-looking local doctor Astrov (Richard Armitage).
However, when Sonya's father Professor Serebryakov (Ciarán Hinds) suddenly returns with his restless, alluring, new wife Yelena (Rosalind Eleazar) declaring his intention to sell the house, the polite facades crumble and long repressed feelings start to emerge with devastating consequences.
"Chekov's gun" is waiting in the wings.
The production was full and fruity, the set is great too - with a smoky design by Rae Smith, moody lighting by Bruno Poet, lovely music by Stephen Warbeck, and clear-as-a-bell sound by Ian Dickinson.
If you like your Chekhov starry with pep, zip and grit this is the show you.