Uncle Vanya, St James Theatre

Jox Dixon (Astrov) and Amanda Hale (Sonya) in Uncle Vanya. Credit Simon Annand.Purists may take issue with Anya Reiss’s incursion into the classics – having already tackled The Seagull and Three Sisters, she’s now turned her dogged 21st-century gaze on Uncle Vanya – but Reiss’s adaptation, though fresh and punchy, in fact is notable for its amiable fidelity.

The framing is in place for a provocative revamp, yet, in appropriately Chekhovian fashion, Reiss appears to have hit some kind of a psychological barrier partway through the process. This is one of the wittier versions you’ll encounter, honouring the “comedy” in “tragicomedy”, but never develops an audacious interpretation to replace the resonant context lost in translation.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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