Uncle Vanya*** (Vaudeville, 17 Jan 2013)

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Theatre

Chekhov is the staple diet of middle brow theatre-going, with four plays (occasionally a fifth), all firmly fixed in time and style, rotating to make regular appearances. This production certainly lives up to the best West End traditions, the sets and lighting are excellent and Lindsay Posner’s direction is solid and meticulous. The play is Chekhov’s lament on ageing, unrequited love, missed opportunities, wasted lives, boredom and (presciently for 1899) damage to the environment. Ken Stott is superb as the title character, moving effortlessly between sardonic humour, frustration, rage and resignation. He is ably supported by Samuel West, Anna Friel, Laura Carmichael, Paul Freeman, Anna Carteret, etc, all perfectly cast in their roles. However, what I was really looking for was the spark of originality to ignite this production and set it apart from all the other Chekhovs. Sadly it never appeared.

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