WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?" Freeman) is a hack who's contributed nothing to his field and will leave no legacy. Chekhov's play looks at what happens when Vanya begins to realise that if the man he's sacrificed his life's work to is a nonentity, his own life's been a waste. Meanwhile the beautiful but listless Yelena (Anna Friel, like I just got home, Anna Friel) enraptures both Vanya and the local doctor.
I don't know if the lack of depth to the characters originates with Christopher Hampton's translation of the play, although I'm sure it isn't helping. There's certainly something particularly dry and humourless to the script, which is particularly ironic given the production's being promoted with the tagline "laughter is a great healer" and an emphasis on Chekhov's comic side.
Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov in a version by Christopher Hampton is booking until the 16th of February at the Vaudeville Theatre.
Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes including interval.
PS: Nimax Theatres continue to have the worst-trained FOH staff. A man further along our row received two loud text messages, which is distracting. But not as distracting as the usher who clambered over the women sitting in front of us to walk up to him and ask him to turn it off. What makes it worse is it was moments before the end of the first act. If FOH were up to speed on the play in their theatre, they'd have known that if he had to do this, he could have waited and done it during the minutes the audience were left staring at a black curtain.