Conor McPherson’s adaptation of Uncle Vanya to air on PBS

7 April 2021


Marrying the intimacy of the screen with the electricity of live theater, Great Performances: Uncle Vanya premieres nationwide Friday, May 7 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app.

Tony Award nominee Conor McPherson breathes new life into Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece with his acclaimed adaptation of the drama, portraying life at the turn of the 20th century filled with tumultuous frustration, dark humor and hidden passions. Recorded in August 2020 from the Harold Pinter Theatre in London after the production’s sold-out run closed early due to the coronavirus pandemic, the play is directed by Ian Rickson and directed for screen by Ross MacGibbon. Starring Toby Jones in the title role and Richard Armitage as Astrov, the cast also features Rosalind Eleazar as Yelena, Aimee Lou Wood as Sonya, Anna Calder Marshall as Nana, Dearbhla Molloy as Mariya, Roger Allam as Serebryakov and Peter Wight as Telegin.

Uncle Vanya begins as Sonya and her Uncle Vanya throw their lives into maintaining the crumbling family estate occasionally visited by the radical and inspiring local doctor Astrov. However, when Sonya’s father, Professor Serebryakov, suddenly returns with his restless, alluring new wife, Yelena, long-hidden truths begin to emerge.

Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

Great Performances: Uncle Vanya is a Sonia Friedman Productions and Angelica Films co-production in association with BBC Arts. Producers are Sonia Friedman and Sally Angel; Executive Producer for the BBC is Emma Cahusac. For Great Performances: Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer and David Horn is Executive Producer.

Major funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Jody and John Arnhold, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, The Starr Foundation, the Seton Melvin Charitable Trust, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, Ellen and James S. Marcus, public television viewers and PBS.

Websites: http://pbs.org/gperf, facebook.com/GreatPerformances, @GPerfPBS, https://www.youtube.com/greatperformancespbs/ #PBSForTheArts