Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya

by Anton Chekhov
directed by Rowan Crymble


Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)... was born in Taganrog, Russia, the son of a serf who had purchased his freedom. He studied medicine at the University of Moscow and earned enough money to both pay his fees and help support his family by hack-work journalism. Although Chekhov practiced medicine briefly after graduating, he never ceased to write. "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "but literature is my mistress." In the end the mistress held the stronger attraction and he gave up his practice.

"The aim of fiction is absolute and honest truth." Chekhov wrote, and he held this aim steadily before him. Believing that most lives are lacking in colour and drama, he wrote of ordinary events and ordinary people. His heroes and heroines are unheroic and very little ever happens to them. Yet Chekhov had for his ordinary people a vast sympathy, what he called "a talent for humanity". He manages to communicate this sympathy to us so that they become real, as more exciting characters would not.

Uncle Vanya was first performed in 1899.



Alexander Vladimirovitch Serebryakov (a retired professor) Douglas Ballard
Yelena Andreyevna (his wife, aged 27) Tina Sharpington
Sofya Alexandrovna (his daughter by his first wife) Liz Byrne
Marya Vassilyevna Voynitsky (widow of a Privy Councillor and mother of the professor's first wife) Mary Maddison
Ivan Petrovitch Voynitsky (her son) Martin Sadler
Mihail Lvovitch Astrov (a doctor) John Dring
Ilya Iiyitch Telyegin (a landowner reduced to poverty) Hugh Proctor
Marina (an old nurse) Joyce Simmonds
A Labourer Phil Simmonds



Design Dee Broadbent
Set Chris Maddison & Douglas Ballard
Lighting Ron Colbourne
Sound Chic Ross and Martin Ives
Stage Management Chris Maddison, Phyl Walshaw and Phil Simmonds
Costumes The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield and the company
Stage Furniture etc The Company and with thanks to The Phoenix Players and Skellingthorpe Players