Uncle Vanya's top notch British cast receives rave reviews

Uncle Vanya's top notch British cast receives rave reviews

Updated On: Oct 30, 2017
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    This November saw Anton Chekhov’s UNCLE VANYA get top billing across London with not one but two productions, in two different languages including the playwright’s native Russian. Last week the curtain lifted on a sterling British cast, whose pedigree across television, film, and of course theatre, has garnered rave reviews.

     

    KEN STOTT

    In the title role, Stott portrays Uncle Vanya himself with a distinctly Scottish droll. Henry Hitchings of the Evening Standard remarked, ‘Stott shows us the quirkiness of Vanya’s inherent contradictions’.

     

    Stott first began as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, before appearing in the BBC series Secret Army, The Singing Detective, Messiah, The Girl in the Café, and Takin’ Over The Asylum. In 2001 he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor for his role in The Vice, and again in 2009 for Hancock & Joan.

     

    On stage, Stott was nominated for Best Actor at the 1997 Olivier Awards for his performance in the Yasmina Reza play Art, alongside Albert Finney and Tom Courtney. In 2008 he returned to the West End in another Reza work, God of Carnage, together with Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer – a role he later reprised on Broadway, replacing James Gandolfini. Stott also starred in the 2009 revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

     

    His film credits include Shallow Grave, Fever Pitch, King Arthur, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Debt Collector, Plunkett and Macleane, and One Day. He will soon return to the big screen as Balin in the highly anticipated trilogy, The Hobbit.

    ANNA FRIEL

    Since the age of 13, Friel has proven herself in television, film and theatre on both sides of the Atlantic. UNCLE VANYA marks Friel’s return to the West End, after a successful turn as the timeless Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 2009. The Observer’s Susannah Clapp noted that Friel portrays the beautiful yet fragile Yelena ‘with sharpness and delicacy’.

     

    Her earlier stage productions include Lulu, Look Europe, and Closer, for which she received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play/Broadway. On the small screen, Friel has appeared in Emmerdale, Brookside, The Tribe, The Jury, Neverland, Without You, and Pushing Daisies, for which she was nominated for a 2008 Golden Globe.

     

    Her diverse filmography has seen her star alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Ewan McGregor in Rogue Trader, Rachel Weisz in The Land Girls, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Christian Bale, Timeline with Gerard Butler, Michelle Williams in Me Without You, and London Boulevard with Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley. She will next appear on the silver screen opposite Steve Coogan in King of Soho.

    LAURA CARMICHAEL

    Impressing critics as the unrequited Sonya, Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph has lauded her performance as ‘deeply touching’. Carmichael is perhaps most recognizable as Lady Edith Crawley in the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Emmy award-winning period drama Downtown Abbey. The immensely popular period drama has achieved unrivalled critical and commercial acclaim, with broadcasting rights acquired by more than 100 countries.

     

    No stranger to treading the boards, Carmichael has also appeared in Plenty at the Sheffield Crucible, directed by Thea Sharrock, The London Cuckolds, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, The Vicar of Wakefield and As You Like It at the Bristol Old Vic. Her other film and television credits include The Heart of Thomas Hardy, House at the End of Our Street and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

    SAMUEL WEST

    West comes from a multigenerational family of actors, including his mother Prunella Scales, father Timothy West, and grandfather Lockwood West. As the enigmatic Dr. Astrov, the Evening Standard’s Henry Hitchings observed that ‘West nicely convey’s Astrov’s complexity’.

     

    No stranger to the London stage, West spent two seasons with the RSC playing the title roles in Richard II and Hamlet. West also starred in Betrayal and T. S. Eliot's The Family Reunion at the Donmar Warehouse.He received Best Actor nominations at the Olivier and Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his turn in Lucy Prebble’s ENRON, and his 2008 production of Waste at the Almeida was chosen as one of The Times “Productions of the Decade”. West also developed made his West End directorial debut with a revival of Dealer's Choice.

     

    On the big screen, he starred alongside Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter and Anthony Hopkins in Howards End, for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA. He’s also appeared in Carrington, Jane Eyre, Notting Hill, Iris, and Van Helsing. West’s television credits include Midsomer Murders, Waking the Dead, Poirot, Cambridge Spies, Any Human Heart, and Eternal Law. In addition to appearing in UNCLE VANYA, West is currently filming for the upcoming ITV series Mr Selfridge.

    One hundred and fifteen years since it was first published in 1897, Chekhov’s masterpiece will be showing at the Vaudeville Theatre with this stellar cast until February 16 2013. Book your tickets to see UNCLE VANYA today!