Director Bronwen Coleman Brings New Life to Chekhov Classic

Anthropocene Play Company brings an exciting new translation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya to Melbourne’s iconic Theatre Works this June. Directed by the multi-award-winning Director Bronwen Coleman, this season promises to showcase human behaviour on stage as Stanislavsky and Chekhov intended, with a realism that’s more alive and vibrant than ever before.

The play revolves around the story of the Professor Serebryakov, who returns with his younger wife to his family’s country home. He’s adored and secretly resented by his extended family that has supported him for years. When he announces that he’s thinking of selling the estate, years of bitterness and disappointment bubble to the surface, dismantling the lives of those who call it home. Uncle Vanya is a classic play that explores the themes of sex, gout, and existential angst that all come into play as the characters wrestle with what it means to be human.

Performed by the APC ensemble, this powerful and dynamic new translation from Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky echoes Mary Oliver’s quote for the ages, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Director Bronwen Coleman believes that the genius of Chekhov lies in how the text leads actors to embody human truth that’s both recognizable and thrilling.

This is an accessible play that’s on the VCAA VCE Literature List this year, and Coleman’s project is to help younger generations and anyone who’s unfamiliar or intimidated by Chekhov to experience it as she does, “as sexy, funny, tragic, epic.” The APC ensemble will reconstruct the space in a vital new interpretation of a treasured classic, bringing vibrant new energy to the play that’s not typically associated with Chekhovian pieces.

This season is proudly supported by Bunjil Place, and it’s not to be missed. Running for only ten shows, the play features Melbourne’s finest actors, Dion Mills, Pia O’Meadhra, Alex Marshall, Sebastian Gunner, Catherine Morvell, Ismail Taylor-Kamara, Clare Larman, Helen Doig, and Thilan Ahangama. The production design is by Harry Gill, lighting design by Sidney Younger, and sound design by Bronwen Coleman. The stage manager is Fia Søfting, and the play is produced by Sophie Muckart, Mikhaela Bourke, and The Anthropocene Play Company, with photos by Greg Elms.

The play is set to run from 7 to 17 June 2023, with previews on 7 and 8 June and an opening night on 9 June. Tickets are available on Theatre Works’ website.  Note: the play contains references to suicide.

Get your tickets now and experience Chekhov at his finest, with an interpretation that’s both dynamic and powerful.

Related Articles