In the heat of summer, Sonya and her Uncle Vanya while away their days on a crumbling estate deep in the countryside, visited occasionally by the only local doctor Astrov.
However, when Sonya’s father, Professor Serebryakov, suddenly returns with his restless, alluring, new wife, declaring his intention to sell the house, the polite façades crumble and long-repressed feelings start to emerge with devastating consequences.
Olivier Award-winner Conor McPherson’s stunning adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece, Uncle Vanya, is a portrayal of life at the turn of the twentieth century, full of tumultuous frustration, dark humour and hidden passions. It premiered at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End in January 2020, directed by Ian Rickson.
‘[Conor McPherson’s adaptation is] perfectly weighted… does not radically reinvent or revolutionise Chekov’s 19th-century story. It returns us to the great, mournful spirit of Chekhov’s tale about unrequited love, ageing and disappointment in middle-age, while giving it a sleeker, modern beat. McPherson’s script has a stripped, vivid simplicity which quickens the pace of the drama… Every character is fully realised, including the ancillary roles that bring more than comic relief… a perfect tragicomedy’
‘As accessible as a TV drama, without ever betraying the great, melancholy, insightful soul that has made the play last for as long as it has. It is radical and revelatory without ever being gimmicky or insensitive… McPherson pulls off a feat of magical reinvention, and allows us to see the play anew’
‘Succeeds resoundingly in making the turn-of-the-20th-century cares of the original resonate today… the contemporary relevance is startling’
— The Arts Desk
‘Nobody quite walks the tightrope between comedy and tragedy with the aplomb of Chekhov… in McPherson’s version, more than any others I’ve seen, the women get to deliver the emotional gut-punches that balance the humour’
— Broadway World
‘McPherson’s new adaptation feels almost impossibly contemporary in the way it packs in so much lust, wit, rage and regret’
— The Times
‘A Vanya for our times’
— Evening Standard