Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Casting is announced for Anya Reiss' UNCLE VANYA at the St. James Theatre


Casting is announced today for a new version of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya by multiple award-winning playwright Anya Reiss, premiering on Wednesday 8 October at St. James Theatre. Directed by Russell Bolam, Reiss’ adaptation of Chekhov’s masterpiece of modern theatre reignites the piece for a 21st century audience, revealing the universal difficulties of impossible love, longing and regret.

John Hannah stars as Vanya, returning to the stage for the first time since 2008, after his role in Sky One’s epic,Spartacus. Joining Hannah in the company are Amanda BoxerBuffy Davis, Joe DixonAlan Francis and Amanda Hale.


A respected professor returns to his farmland which has been managed without him for many years. He brings with him a new, beautiful, young wife. Their arrival turns the lives of the residents and his family upside down forcing everyone to re-examine their choices.  Old wounds are reopened, passions are awakened and thwarted ambitions bubble to the surface, threatening the lives of everyone involved.


Anya Reiss began writing plays at 14 when she became a member of the Royal Court Theatre's Young Writers' Programmeand her debut play, The Spur of the Moment, premiered there in 2010 when she was 17, winning her the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. In 2011, producer Emily Dobbs brought Reiss and Bolam together to work on a series of productions which would reimagine Chekhov for a new audience. The Seagull opened at Southwark Playhouse to sell-out success in 2012 and was followed by Three Sisters at the same venue in 2014.  Uncle Vanya is the third production uniting this creative team and will further the fusion of a classic voice with a contemporary vitality.


Jagged Fence Productions will bring Uncle Vanya to the stage as part of the ONE STAGE season running September to December at the St. James Theatre.  It is supported by Stage One, the charity which supports emerging commercial theatre producers.  This new version of Uncle Vanya was commissioned by Emily Dobbs on behalf of Jagged Fence Productions. Janet Bird will design, with lighting by Johanna Town, music by Isobel Waller Bridge and casting by Hayley Kaimakliotis.
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