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A new version of Uncle Vanya by Terry Johnson comes to Hampstead Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

HAMPSTEAD Theatre is presenting Terry Johnson’s new version of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya – from November 30, 2018 to January 12, 2019.

Don’t be miserable, you wonderful woman; be a mermaid. There’s the ocean; throw yourself in. Fall in love with some poor mortal and drag him down with you. Astonish us!

On an estate deep in provincial Russia time seems frozen: managing its affairs on behalf of her father, Sonia and her uncle Vanya have consigned themselves to a life of loveless drudgery, enlivened solely by the odd pamphlet from Moscow and the occasional visits of their neighbour, the doctor.

But when Sonia’s father and his stunning second wife Yeliena burst onto the scene, everything is thrown into confusion. As beauty stirs repressed desires and youth teases maturity, years of perilously supressed regrets, longings and unrequited loves threaten to explode into farcical life…

A classic tragicomedy, Uncle Vanya is charged with Chekhov’s wit and his acute observation of the comic absurdity of human life.

Olivier and Tony Award-winner Terry Johnson returns to Hampstead following his critically acclaimed hit Prism starring Robert Lindsay and Hysteria starring Antony Sher as well as Race, Old Money, Seminar and The Memory of Water.

As a playwright, his work includes Dead Funny, Prism and Ken (all Hampstead Theatre); Insignificance, Cries from the Mammal House, Hysteria, Piano/Forte and Hitchcock Blonde (all Royal Court); The Graduate and Mrs Henderson Presents (both West End); and Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick and The London Cuckolds (both National Theatre).

Other credits as Director include Oh What a Lovely War and Fings Ain’t What They Used T’Be (both Theatre Royal Stratford East; marking the 50th Anniversary of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop); Lost Land and The Libertine (both Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago); and Dumb Show (Royal Court). West End and Broadway directing credits include The Duck House, End of the Rainbow, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, La Cage aux Folles, Rain Man, Whipping It Up, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Entertaining Mr Sloane and Elton John’s Glasses.

His work for television includes Not Only But Always (which won five International Award nominations, Best Film at Banff and the Best Actor Bafta for Rhys Ifans), The Man Who Lost His Head, Cor, Blimey! and The Bite.

Casting will be announced in due course.

Priority Booking is now open for Patrons, Friends and members of Hampstead Theatre’s Under 30s free membership scheme, The Downstairs Club. Public Booking opens on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 10.30am.