Uncle Vanya

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Uncle Vanya (Russian: Дядя Ваня or Dyadya Vanya) is a play by Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) [1].

The original text

First published 1897, produced 1899 by the Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Konstantin Stanislavski (1863–1938)[2].

Translations and adaptations

The play has been translated into many languages and in many versions.

English translations include versions by * and *,

First translated into Afrikaans circa 1930 simply as Wania and produced by Jean Plaat-Stultjes in 1930.

Later translated as Oom Wanja by Karel Schoeman (1939-2017). Published by Human & Rousseau in 1968.

The play has also seen a number of adaptations for stage and film, as well of many parodies. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Vanya#Productions)

Among them are well known English versions by Christopher Hampton [3] (from a translation into English by Nina Froud), and one by Alan Ayckbourn, who reset it in the 1930s Lake District and renamed it Dear Uncle[].

In 2014 a Jewish Theater Company performed a modern adaption entitled TuBishVanya, that incorporated Jewish and environmental themes.

Performance history in South Africa

1930: First Afrikaans production produced as Wania by Jean Plaat-Stultjes (1898-1934) in 1930.

1963: Produced in English by Rosalie van der Gucht for the Little Theatre Players at the Little Theatre, Cape Town, 16 to 23 November, starring Sandy Bicket, Frumilla North, Jeanne Wennberg, Hilda Harvey, Robert Mohr, Paul Malherbe, Winston Swanson, Lily-Jean Satusky and Frank Lazarus.

1967: Performed in Afrikaans as Oom Wanja (in the Schoeman translation) by PACT in a triple bill, directed by Robert Mohr, together with Uit de oude doos by Melt Brink and Die Paradysboot by Karl Wittinger. In the Oom Wanja production the cast was: Carel Trichardt (Aleksander), Wilna Snyman (Jeljena), Marga van Rooy (Sofja), Kita Redelinghuys (Marija), Cobus Rossouw (Iwan), Louis van Niekerk (Michail), James Norval (Ilja), Sandra Kotze (Marina) and Johann Bernard (Jeffim). This production also played in Windhoek under the auspices of SWAPAC, opening on 5 April.

1972: Staged as Oom Wanja by CAPAB in the Hofmeyr Theatre in February 1972, directed by Nicholas Wright (assisted by Mees Xteen), with Johan Malherbe, Pieter Geldenhuys, Sandra Kotzé, Carel Trichardt, Petru Wessels, Anna Cloete, Pieter Joubert, Mees Xteen and Aletta Bezuidenhout. Decor by Bill Smuts, costumes by Penny Simpson. This production was also presented at the H.B. Thom Theatre, Stellenbosch, from 23 February 1972.

1982: Produced in English by the Baxter Theatre Company, directed by Robert Mohr opening 26 May (designs by Fred Abrahamse) with Roger Dwyer, Sandra Prinsloo, Grethe Fox, Zoë Randall, Richard Haines, Ron Smerczak, James Irwin, Rosalie van der Gucht, Stephen Gurney.

1986: A production directed by Richard Haines starring Frantz Dobrowsky, Michael McCabe, James Borthwick, Shelagh Holliday, Charlotte Butler and Jacqui Singer.

1993: The Christopher Hampton version presented by UCT Drama Department in the Nico Arena, first performance 25 August 1993. Directed by David Haynes, designed by Ann Sharfman. The cast were Oscar Petersen, Lisa van Zyl, Alex Ferns, Sylvaine Strike, Heinrich Reisenhofer, Jaci Smith, Duncan Lawson, Lucinda Hooley, Jean Marais.

2004: Produced by the Baxter Theatre in a notable a double bill, with the same cast performing alternately performing the play in Afrikaans and in English. Directed by Janice Honeyman, set by Patrick Curtis, lighting by Mannie Manim, with Marius Weyers, James Borthwick, Anna-Mart van der Merwe,Sandra Kotzé, Louis van Niekerk, Claire Watling, Mary Dreyer, Royston Stoffels and André Stolz. Costume designer Birrie le Roux


Wikipedia entry on Uncle Vanya[4]

Oom Wanja theatre programme, 1972.

Uncle Vanya theatre programmes, 1963 (Little Theatre) and 2004.

1982 programme donated by Tony Fletcher, held by NELM: [Collection: FLETCHER, Jill]: 2005. 75. 19. 9.

PACT Triple Bill theatre programme (undated).

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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