Following a theatrical cinema release, BBC Arts commissions Uncle Vanya on Film from Sonia Friedman Productions and Angelica Films for BBC 4.
A masterpiece of love, sadness and a very timely air of ennui... Quite a marvel, quite a must-see.
This dramatic and darkly humorous adaptation - which sees a conflicted family forced to confront their despair, and each other, while living together on their isolated estate - has even greater resonance following recent world events.
An extraordinary, transfiguring leap from stage to screen… This is not, like the NTLive broadcasts, an attempt to transmit a theatrical event. It is a new thing. The film crackles with fresh intensity – and gains new shadows from the timing of its release… . It is often said that an elderly play is nevertheless a play for today. This one truly is.
BBC Arts has commissioned a breathtaking film of Olivier Award-winner Conor McPherson’s stunning new adaptation of the Anton Chekhov masterpiece, Uncle Vanya from Sonia Friedman Productions and Angelica Films.
A specially commissioned version of the original stage production, directed by Olivier Award-nominated Ian Rickson, produced during lockdown, and filmed without an audience, the two-hour film features a superlative cast including Toby Jones, Richard Armitage, Rosalind Eleazar, Aimee Lou Wood, Anna Calder-Marshall, Dearbhla Molloy, Peter Wight and Roger Allam, and is directed for screen by Ross MacGibbon.
Uncle Vanya, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre in January 2020 to five-star reviews, heralded by critics as ‘the perfect Chekhov’ (The Guardian). Despite playing to sold-out audiences from January, and currently nominated for four Olivier Awards, Uncle Vanya’s success was cut short in March 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 and the abrupt closure of theatres around the world.
As the first British theatre production closed by the pandemic to be filmed in situ, the production team adhered to strict protocols to ensure the safety of both cast and crew. This involved the cast being in isolation and on a COVID-19 testing schedule to allow them to perform together, and the crew have worked in protective masks and PPE while remaining socially distanced throughout the entire process.
It is excellent. A great work of art. It will touch your heart and soul.
AMY LOU WOOD – Sonya
TOBY JONES – Vanya
ROASALIND ELEAZAR – Yelena
RICHARD ARMITAGE – Astrov
ROGER ALLAM – Serebrayakov
ANNA CALDER-MARSHALL – Nana
DEARBHLA MOLLOY – Mariya
PETER WIGHT – Telegrin
ANTON CHEKHOV – Original Playwright
CONOR MCPHERSON – Adaptation
ROSS MACGIBBON & IAN RICSON – Directors