Opened 17 Sep 2008
Written: by Anton Chekhov, in a new version by Tom Stoppard
Directed: Michael Grandage
Cast: Kenneth Branagh (Ivanov), Lucy Briers (Babakina) ,Malcolm Sinclair (Shabelsky), Gina McKee (Anna Petrovna), Kevin R McNally (Lebedev), Andrea Riseborough (Sasha).
Produced: Donmar Warehouse
Synopsis: Once a man of limitless promise, Ivanov is plunged into debt. His marriage is in crisis, and his evenings are spent negotiating loans, avoiding love affairs and fighting to resist the small town jealousies and intrigues which threaten to engulf his life.
What the popular press had to say.....
MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "A richly intelligent rethink of a play...Most productions of Ivanov veer between farce and melodrama: the skill of Grandage's version lies in constantly allowing the comic and the tragic to bleed into each other...Everything about this production is first-rate." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "A near-revolutionary, powerfully acted production ." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Giving a performance of extraordinary perceptiveness and human breadth, Kenneth Branagh has an almighty crack at Ivanov...The production by Michael Grandage is exhilarating in its insight into desperate depression and its understanding that Chekhov, though writing in a very different mode, was way ahead of Beckett in realising that there is nothing funnier than unhappiness...a must-see" JOHN THAXTER for THE STAGE says, "An evening of outstanding theatrical achievement." "CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Magnificent new production...the play seethes with vitality, caught in Tom Stoppard's new translation which is blessed with a combination of sharp wit and sympathetic humanity...Kenneth Branagh is in magnificent form as Ivanov." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, " Kenneth Branagh brings such articulate melancholy to Tom Stoppard’s punchy, witty, if overfree translation."