Uncle Vanya

Our October 2017 Production: 
      Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov

Cast & Crew

When the routine of daily life on a remote country estate is disrupted by visitors, seething discontent and latent passion come to the fore…

Uncle Vanya is rated one of the world’s top 50 plays and is packed full of powerful drama with universal themes that still resonate today.  Family, relationships, money, and love cause tension and crisis while as the wider world struggles with female emancipation, public and protecting the environment.

The routine of a farming estate is disrupted by visiting relatives from the city, with subsequent arguments over money, drinking too much, and protecting the environment, while unrequited love and a mid-life crisis become intertwined!

The lives of Uncle Vanya and his niece Sonia, are at the core of this play. They work their small estate, live frugally and keep their emotions tightly reined in. Sonia’s father, Professor Serebryakov, has come to stay with his beautiful second wife Helena.

Vanya is helplessly in love with Helena and Sonia with the Vanya’s friend Doctor Astrov, and pressure builds before private tensions publicly explode.

The production flyer!

Director Emma Gosling  writes about why Chekhov and Uncle Vanya in particular means  so much to her…

I was first introduced to this play whilst studying Theatre Arts at Southdown’s College. Although I auditioned for the part of Yelena, I was cast as Sonya, who is described in the text as being “Plain ” This did not go down well with my egotistic 17yr old self, but I was quickly won over by the complexity of the character I was learning to portray. So when CDS were looking for a “Serious” play to perform in October, I suggested Uncle Vanya. It is often described as a tragi-comedy although it is neither conventionally comic or tragic. The genius of this play comes from the multi-layered characters, who are neither good or bad but reflect human nature. “

Click on the poster image for a full size view.

Chekhov’s play is full of slowly simmering emotions that reveal the characters strengths and flaws in the same way as real life! Prepare to be moved…

Many actors, directors and students of theatre love Chekhov, and we are sure Emma and CDS will rise to the challenge of making this classic piece of theatre both entertaining and moving.

Emma has also provided this quote from Laurence Olivier, whose 1963 production at Chichester was called  “the admitted master achievement in British twentieth-century theatre”  by the Sunday Times while The New Yorker called it “probably the best ‘Vanya’ in English we shall ever see“.

“…Chekhov is the dramatist of goodbyes; goodbyes to hopes and ambitions, goodbyes between lovers.  Yet out of this concept of life, which might be thought ‘depressing,’ Chekhov makes a work of art which moves us and exalts us like a beautiful piece of music. It is not in a mood of depression one leaves the theatre after seeing a Chekhov play. How true it is that a good play should be like a piece of music! For our reason it must have the logical coherence of fact, but for our emotions the sinuous unanalysable appeal of music. In and out, in and out, the theme of hope for the race and the theme of personal despair are interwoven one with the other. Each character is like a different instrument which leads and gives way alternately, sometimes playing alone, sometimes with others, the theme of the miseries of cultivated exiles, or the deeper one of the longing of youth…”

Producer’s Note Laurence Olivier (1967)

CAST & CREW

Director: Emma Gosling
Producer: Caroline Denholm

Astrov : Ken Collins
Voitski: Paul Davey
Sonia : Stella Balicki
Helena : Sharran Rigby-Smith
Serebryakov: Martin Sheldon
Marina : Harriet Sheldon
Mme Voitskaya : Diana Martin
Telegin : Keith Moss
Workman: Simon Perkins

Sound Design: Jason Ross
Sound & Lighting:  Peter Bowman & Paul Ruse
Stage Manager: Caroline Denholm & Andrew Holloway
Set Build: Martin Sheldon, Terry Denyer, Peter Bowman, Paul Ruse & Mark White
Make-up:  Isobel Holloway
Costumes: Isobel Holloway, Emma Gosling & Caroline Denholm
Properties: Sophie Bradshaw, Emma Gosling & Caroline Denholm
Prompt: Shirley Coates
Programme Design: Laurence Leng
Publicity & Marketing: Caroline Denholm
Programme Advertising: Shirley Coates
Photography: Steve Bishopp
Box Office: Harriët Sheldon
Front of House: Hazelle Woodhurst & Mark White
Bar: Jane & Peter Bowman

 

Anton Chekhov

Dinner Options

Why not enjoy dinner in Cuckfield before you see the show?

Good Evening Thai have a Pre-Theatre Supper Offer for Uncle Vanya
  • Book in advance on 01444 413454 & mention Uncle Vanya offer
  • Two courses for £10.95pp from 6pm (show ticket on request)
The Talbot  also have a special Uncle Vanya Pre-Theatre Menu Offer
  • Enjoy two courses on this special dedicated menu from 5: 30 – 7 pm
  • £16pp on Wed & Thurs and £18pp on Fri & Sat
  • Please pre-book by calling 01444 455898

There are several other evening dining options in Cuckfield

For more information follow the links below or visit Cuckfield.org

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