Uncle Vanya follows the story of an ageing Professor and his beautiful young wife Yelena, who move to their family’s country estate to have him treated by the doctor, Astrov. In the Professor’s absence, the estate has been handled by his old friend Vanya and his daughter, Sonya. As Chekhov’s masterpiece unfolds, a myriad of love webs ensue, from the declarations of love to Yelena from both Astrov and Vanya, to Sonya’s timid admittance of her love for Astrov. As emotions run high, news of the Professor’s plan to sell the estate causes tensions to build, and Vanya does something quite unthinkable. A classic melancholic tale, Chekhov’s play deals with life’s blows of disease, death and disappointment.
Award-winning actress Anna Friel plays the beautiful, yet self-deprecating, Yelena, alongside Ken Stott as Vanya, Samuel West as Astrov and Laura Carmichael as Sonya. Friel’s past credits include Pushing Daisies, earning her a Golden Globe nomination, whilst Carmichael is well-known for her starring role in Downton Abbey.
Brought to the stage by the producers who helmed All My Sons and Long Day’s Journey into Night, Uncle Vanya is directed by Lindsay Posner, with design by Christopher Oram. Opening at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre for a limited season from October 24th to January 26th 2013, Chekhov’s play delves deep into melancholic themes to create a compelling, poignant performance.