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Ian Rickson to direct Toby Jones and Richard Armitage in Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Uncle Vanya © Muse Creative Communications, photography by Seamus Ryan.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CONOR McPherson’s new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece Uncle Vanya, directed by Ian Rickson, will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre from January 23 (previews from January 14) to May 2, 2020.

Tickets go on general sale from Monday, September 30 with priority booking from Wednesday, September 25.

The production will star Toby Jones in the title role and Richard Armitage as Astrov, with full casting to be announced soon.

In the heat of summer, Sonya and her Uncle Vanya while away their days on a crumbling estate deep in the countryside, visited occasionally only by the local doctor Astrov. However, when Sonya’s father suddenly returns with his beautiful new wife declaring that he intends to sell the house, the polite facades crumble and repressed feelings start to emerge with devastating consequences.

Olivier Award-winner Conor McPherson’s stunning new adaptation of the Anton Chekhov masterpiece, Uncle Vanya, is a portrayal of life at the turn of the 20th century, full of tumultuous frustration, dark humour and hidden passions.

Critically acclaimed director Ian Rickson returns to Chekhov for the first time since his landmark production of The Seagull in 2007, reuniting with BAFTA and Olivier Award-winner Toby Jones (The Birthday Party) alongside Richard Armitage, who returns to the UK stage six years after his Olivier Award-nominated performance in The Crucible.

Uncle Vanya is the eleventh collaboration between Ian Rickson and Sonia Friedman Productions, with previous productions including Rosmersholm, Jerusalem, The River, Betrayal and The Children’s Hour.

British actor Toby Jones is known for his performances both in the theatre and on screen. Earlier this year he starred in Don’t Forget The Driver, a series he co-wrote with Tim Crouch for BBC Two. He has recently been cast in Louis Wain alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy and in The Sands of Venus. He has newly finished filming A Boy Called Christmas and The Last Thing He Wanted, written and directed by Oscar nominated Dee Rees.

This Autumn, Jones will return to the Royal Court Theatre in Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp; four plays written by Caryl Churchill and directed by James Macdonald. He will also voice the role of The Reverend Chasuble for the animated adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost and can currently be seen in the Netflix prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

In 2018, Jones appeared in the revival of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party. He went on to star on screen in French comedy film Naked Normandy for Philippe le Gay, Lionsgate’s World War One Drama Journey’s End and the blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Richard Armitage is a multi-award-winning stage and screen actor best known for his role of Thorin in Peter Jackson’s trilogy of The Hobbit and more recently as Daniel Miller in Epix Berlin Station, as well as Claude Becker in Oceans 8. Armitage also voices Trevor Belmont in the Netflix series Castlevania and Logan in Marvel’s Wolverine podcast.

In theatre, Armitage is well known for his critically acclaimed performance as John Proctor in The Crucible at The Old Vic Theatre. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance. His leading role in the Off-Broadway play, Love Love Love directed by Michael Mayer, also garnered critical acclaim.

Conor McPherson’s plays include Rum & Vodka, The Good Thief, This Lime Tree Bower, St Nicholas, The Weir (Olivier Award, directed by Ian Rickson), Dublin Carol, Port Authority, Shining City (Tony Award nomination), The Seafarer (Olivier, Tony and Evening Standard Award nominations), The Veil, The Night Alive (New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award), and most recently, the Olivier Award-winning musical, Girl from the North Country, with Bob Dylan.

Ian Rickson was the Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006. His West End credits include Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Rosmersholm (Duke of York’s Theatre); The Birthday Party, Old Times, Betrayal and The Children’s Hour (Harold Pinter Theatre); and at the National Theatre, Translations by Brian Friel, Evening at the Talk House by Wallace Shawn, The Red Lion by Patrick Marber, The Hothouse by Harold Pinter and The Day I Stood Still by Kevin Elyot.

Uncle Vanya is designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Bruno Poet, music by Stephen Warbeck, sound by Ian Dickinson and casting by Amy Ball CDG.

Image: Uncle Vanya © Muse Creative Communications, photography by Seamus Ryan.

Audio Described Performance: Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30pm.

Captioned Performance: Wednesday, February 26 at 7:30pm.

Ian McKellen On Stage continues at the Harold Pinter Theatre until January 5, 2020.