Candid Broads Productions are bringing Chekhov into the 21st century with a roaring new take on the classic play Uncle Vanya. Playing at the Old Red Lion Theatre for a limited run, this new translation by Luba Hilman and Clementine Pinet shows that Uncle Vanya is still as relevant as ever 120 years on, while highlighting its timeless humour. This female-led production, with actors of the global majority, is not to be missed.
Originally staged in 1899, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya has more current resonance than ever, as it presents characters locked down in one space together, with nothing much to do… Highlighting our collective experience from the last few years, this entertaining and explosive portrayal will leave audiences feeling that despite the worst of times, our personalities and desires cannot be dimmed. Expect humour, music… and a little vodka.
The cast are intentionally younger than in Chekhov’s original, highlighting how the feeling of being held back has manifested in the younger generations recently. The production stars Jonathon George (#WeAreArrested, Royal Shakespeare Company; Boris Godunov, Royal Opera House), Faye Bennett (Midsummer Night’s Dream, Edinburgh Festival; Fire Sale, Theatre503), Adé Dee Haastrup (Darkest Hour, Working Title; Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre), Clementine Pinet (multi award-winning series Call it a Day, award-winning short film Fabulous), Sally Faulkner (Doctor Who, BBC; The Bill, ITV), Anne Farnworth (Remember, The Cockpit; The Picture of Dorian Grey, Greenwich Theatre, The Trip To Bountiful, Courtyard Theatre), David Whiting (Lost Pirate Kingdom, Netflix; Doctors, BBC) and Simon Furness (Wednesday, Netflix; The Cleaner, Arcola Theatre).
Director Kieran Bourne said “Today, young people are more concerned with what they will accomplish by 30 instead of by retirement so we have reframed this as an inter-generational story and one dealing with the “quarter-life” crisis. With many losing two years due to the pandemic, the frustrations and delusions of Chekhov’s characters are incredibly relevant yet also darkly humorous.”
Uncle Vanya runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 3 to 14 May.