Performances at 7:30pm.
Uncle Vanya is a play by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov.
It was first published in 1897 and received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski.
Arguably the first modernist drama, Anton Chekhov’s depiction of the breakdown of a dysfunctional and loosely structured family full of “might-have-been” characters is a closely observed tragi-comedy set in the dying days of Tsarist Russia. It is a story full of unrequited love and idle intrigues where all the protagonists are locked in a system of illusions in order to protect themselves not only from others but from themselves.
Considered by many to be Chekhov’s best loved and best composed play. A delicate balance of the tragic and absurd the play is, at its core, a beautifully moving love story which still resonates with today’s audiences.
CAUTION men at work!
At the same time as the actors are learning their lines and rehearsing the play there is a large team of Maskers working on the design and construction of the set, whilst others plan and design the lighting and sound for the show. The Maskers have a large well equipped workshop where the set is constructed. The sound and lighting technicians work closely with the director, they have access to the Masker's extensive range of modern sound and lighting equipment to help them in their task. Some of the working drawings of the set are shown below. The Maskers are always keen to welcome new members who have an interest in any of the backstage work, we occasionally organise training courses given by our own members.
Ken has been a member of the Maskers for forty-one years. In that time he has played in over sixty productions and directed six. Uncle Vanya will be his fourth play at the Nuffield having directed Macbeth, The Relapse and King Lear in recent years.
Ken’s fascination for Chekhov was fostered whilst he was at college in the sixties, a time when Uncle Vanya, The Seagull, Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters where frequently staged. He saw a Frank Hauser production of Uncle Vanya in Oxford, a production that actually toured to the Nuffield in 1969, and was immediately hooked.
Recently there has been a reawakening of interest in Chekhov’s plays so now seemed a good time for the Maskers to produce the only one of his four great plays that we have never performed.
Ken loves working at the Nuffield where the actors and audience are in such close proximity to each other. This he feels is important for a play such as Uncle Vanya where the audience need to be intimately involved in the lives of the characters.
He hopes that both those already interested in Chekhov and those who are coming to this great playwright for the first time will be as fascinated as he was all those years ago.
Concessions £10, Students £6 - 2 for 1 on Tuesday, Group Discounts