Today: July 19, 2024

Uncle Vanya

Shortly before the world changed forever with the Covid-19 pandemic, a dear friend and I had one of the last nights of normality I can remember witnessing Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Opening on the 14th of January and ultimately being cut criminally short due to the coronavirus on the 16th of March, this stunning adaptation from Olivier Award-winning writer Conor McPherson and acclaimed director Ian Rickson proves to be the definitive version of Anton Chekhov’s beloved play.

Boasting an all-star cast fronted by Toby Jones and Richard Armitage, this bleak tale set entirely in a crumbling estate in the middle of nowhere feels more relatable than ever through a lockdown lens, in its portrayal of isolation and wasted time. First published 123 years ago, Uncle Vanya explores the discontent of a small group of people as hidden passions are unearthed, lives wasted are mourned, and regret looms large. It is a typically downbeat premise from Chekhov, but this new adaptation is surprisingly funny – Toby Jones in particular offers a masterful performance that blurs the line between comedy and tragedy, as the depressed and cynical titular uncle.

Uncle Vanya is an absolutely mesmerising production from top to bottom. The writing is impeccable, the set design immaculate and the performances flawless. Performed one final time to be filmed during the pandemic when public performances were ceased, the film serves as a poignant reminder of the power of theatre and a time capsule of this dark, unprecedented time for the arts. A closing montage shows the cast hugging and sharing a laugh before we see haunting shots of the empty auditorium they performed to, and the house lights go dark once again. 

This magnificent production is simply a masterpiece of theatre and filmed performance in equal measure.

Dazzler Media presents UNCLE VANYA on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 14th June

We took a closer look at the Blu-ray release…

Previous Story

Basic Instinct 4K UHD Unboxing

Next Story

In the Line of Fire 4K

Latest from Blog

Memory

Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Longlegs

Following early screenings, Longlegs mania became something bigger than anyone could have predicted. After an eerie and ambiguous marketing campaign made up largely of short, cryptic teasers, hype was already pretty high

Inside No 9 Complete Collection Unboxing

Earlier this year, one of the finest television creations in the history of the medium came to a poignant conclusion after 9 impeccable seasons. Over 55 self-contained episodes, Inside No 9 made

A Bittersweet Life Unboxing

Taking a brief detour from horror, Second Sight Films have given their much-loved Limited Edition treatment to South Korean neo-noir thriller A Bittersweet Life (2005). Filmmaker Kim Jee-woon may jump wildly around

The Conversation Unboxing

Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece of paranoia The Conversation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and StudioCanal are marking the occasion with this utterly beautiful Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray release that even

Halo Season Two Unboxing

While the Halo TV series continues to be controversial with longtime ‘fans’ of the franchise for petty reasons, this year’s explosive second season certainly marked an improvement over the first. With better
Go toTop