The curse of Sport v Art struck again last night as once more I missed out on one of the matches of the century in favour of spending an evening at the theatre. However, Uncle Vanya at the Hope Theatre was such an excellent production that I have no regrets whatsoever about missing Liverpool’s romping victory over the smug Catalans.
The adaptation, by Brendan Murray, skilfully strips away a couple of characters in order to deliver a sleek 80 minute version that loses none of the brittle tragicomedy of Chekhov’s original. This allows director James Stone to give us a very intimate view of the relationships between the characters in the small space above the Hope & Anchor on Upper Street.
The set is minimal but filled with telling detail – I especially liked the map of Africa. In our group we disagreed about which performers we thought were the strongest but all agreed that they were excellent. I especially liked Adrian Wheeler’s Vanya, he delivered a performance which by turns (and often at the same time) brought out the comedy, bitterness and stoicism of a character with whom it was all too easy for me to empathise!
I heartily recommend this show.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).