Delfont Mackintosh Theatres
CHEKHOV AS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE AND WINNER OF BEST PRODUCTION IN RUSSIA IN 2011
Russia's award-winning theatre company Vakhtangov brings its ground-breaking UNCLE VANYA to London's West End
Vakhtangov Theatre under the direction of Rimas Tuminas, one of the most influential directors in Russia and Europe, comes to the Noël Coward Theatre 5 - 10 November with it's breathtaking and stunningly realised modern interpretation of Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA, winner of Best Production at Russia's Golden Mask Awards (which is equivalent to an Emmy Award).
Following in the footsteps of Moscow's Sovremennik Theatre Company, which took London by storm in early 2011, Oksana Nemchuk and Artsbridge Ltd are proud to present Vakhtangov Theatre, a company responsible for many of Russia's most critically acclaimed and best-loved productions.
Producer Oksana Nemchuk says that after the huge success of the Sovremennik season, 'I now understand the importance of bringing these unique and previously unseen Russian theatre productions to the West End. I hope this return to the Noël Coward will mark the beginning of a regular Russian theatre season in London'.
In Vakhtangov's UNCLE VANYA there's no Chekhovian mansion, no cosy arm-chairs, no table laid for lunch with a lacy tablecloth and hot samovar; no feeling of 'home' where several generations have lived. Instead Rimas Tuminas has released the stage from the familiar and the domestic, leaving behind a battlefield of passions, broken illusions and unrealized hopes. Daily life turns imperceptibly into poetry, the drama acquires a tinge of tender irony and every detail on the stage arouses the audience's emotions.
'I wanted to show the death of the culture that had existed for several centuries. I discovered Chekhov's drama when I was a third year student at the Vilnus Conservatoire (productions of his plays in Lithuania were rare and far between). Instantly I had that odd feeling that I was a pioneer who had discovered a brilliant, yet generally unknown playwright. My decision to become a director stemmed largely from the desire to stage Chekhov. In this sense I've been staging Chekhov all my life. I first put on 'Uncle Vanya' in Vilnus twenty years ago. Since then I have been staging this play in theatres around the world. I even once compared it to a folk song that one feels like singing over and over again. Now with this production I'm becoming increasingly aware that there are still lots of things to be discovered in this play and that the characters appear to be different from what I thought they were earlier. The dialogue Chekhov engages in with the modern times is amazingly complex. It is no less amazing to see the company that has for a long time been labeled 'anti-Chekhovian' reveal its best qualities precisely in a production of Chekhov's plays.'
Vakhtangov is home to many of the best known Russian stars of stage and screen. UNCLE VANYA features superb performances from Sergey Makovetsky, Vladimir Simonov, Ludmila Maksakova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov and Galina Konovalova amongst others.
Composer Faustas Latenas has created a mesmerizing soundscape for the production, illustrating and underscoring the drama. Sets and scenery are by Tuminas' long time collaborator, Adomas Yatsovskis, who creates meticulously conceived open spaces where anything can happen.
The play will be performed in Russian with English subtitles.
Friday 20 April 2012
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