Filmed version of West End Uncle Vanya to be released in cinemas and on BBC

Ian Rickson’s acclaimed production of the Chekhov classic features performances by Toby Jones and Richard Armitage.

 

Toby Jones and Richard Armitage

The recent West End revival of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, which closed due to the Covid-19 shutdown, has been filmed on stage of the Harold Pinter Theatre with a plan to release this version into cinemas and on television.

The new film, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, along with the BBC and Angelica Films, has been conceived as “a sumptuous re-interpretation” of Ian Rickson’s stage production, utilising the intimacy of film to deliver something more than the simple filming of a play. Uncle Vanya is directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon.

The stage production, which opened in January 2020, featured a new adaptation by Conor McPherson (Girl from the North Country, The Weir). The cast included Toby Jones (The Birthday Party, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Richard Armitage (The Hobbit, The Stranger), Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education, Downstate), and Ciaran Hinds (Closer, Translations).

The complete West End cast recreated their roles for the filming, with the exception of Ciaran Hinds, who was replaced by Roger Allam (A Number, The Thick of It).

The production was designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Bruno Poet, music by Stephen Warbeck, and sound by Ian Dickinson.

Producer Sonia Friedman and Sally Angel from Angelica Films said in a statement: “Collaborating on filming Ian Rickson’s extraordinary production of Uncle Vanya has been a wonderful and inspiring experience. Despite all the challenges involved in filming this production (with no social distancing on screen), the results are testament to a brilliant and dedicated cast and crew led by Ian himself alongside Ross MacGibbon. It is such a privilege that we are able to bring this beautiful production to a wider audience after its run was cut so brutally short by the Covid-19 pandemic in March. We would also like to thank SFP’s loyal coproducers who have so generously allowed us to pursue this vision for the filmed production and enabled it to become a reality”.

Details of cinema release and television transmission dates will be announced at a later date.

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