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. ”
Many actors, directors and students of theatre love Chekhov, and we are sure Emma and CDS will rise to the challenge of making an apparently simple play both entertaining and moving. (Our last serious play “On Golden Pond” was a massive success!)
Emma’s first task as Director is to find the perfect cast, so if you are up for a challenge, and would like to explore your craft through improvisation and soul searching see the audition details or email us at email@example.com.
She 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)