Uncle Vania is Chekov's timeless masterpiece that reflects on major human passions: love, search for happiness, loneliness and the longing to understand the meaning of life. The passions highlighted above will never change, but the way people relate to, or express them, changes over time.
In this particular production Uncle Vania turned into a tale of people that were brought together, not only by circumstances, but also by their shared fear of something big and destructive that was about to shake their existence. Women proudly wore beautiful dresses and men constantly strove to be loved, so as to avoid their disturbing sense of upcoming disaster. They fought, blamed and screamed at each other in order to deafen their own intuitions. And Chekov, perhaps better then any other author, knows how dangerous it is not to listen to one's inner voice.
All the cast members were quite deliberately younger then the characters they portrayed. They wore pale, ageless make up to underline the entrapment; the cursed time capsule; the house of Voinitskies that prevented them from moving on. Nevertheless, little grains of truth and beauty were still to be found in their suffocating environment. They still were capable of love and friendship. The striking contrast between the general heavy atmosphere of the play and the occasional glimpses of the beauty of the human spirit made this piece unforgettable. It was plain to see that Chekov's characters were on the verge of a changing world. Whether it was an upcoming Russian revolution or the coming new century, the reality they lived in was fast coming to an end.
Again a new century has just started. Wasn't it the right time to consult Chekov's heroes once more?
The cast: Matthew Flacks, Michelle Miller, Farris Wren, Georgina Bryce, Nick Jesper, Marcus Sinclair, Victoria Seabrook, Geertje, Stephen du Toit
Written by Anton Chekov
Directed by Dimitry Devdariani
Performed at the Lion and Unicorn theatre in April/May 2006