Review: Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre - Richard Armitage 'magnetic', Toby Jones 'endearing', Aimee Lou Wood 'adorable'
Richard Armitage's Astrov is looking at Aimee Lou Wood's Sonya, a wave agony and confusion on his face. It is approaching the culmination of what is a charged, layered and yet very funny Uncle Vanya, a production in which not a character is wasted.
Rarely has Chekhov made me laugh this much and yet equally been heartwarming and sad.
Conor McPherson's adaptation, as directed by Ian Rickson, elevates the piece into an ensemble tragi-comedy without detracting from the protagonist Vanya played by Toby Jones.
I cared about the characters in a way that I haven't before. I confess, I generally find Chekhov's characters difficult to care about veering far towards the self-pitying for my sympathies.
But this production of Uncle Vanya balances humour and pain, despair and stoicism, laugh out loud moments with those that tug the heartstrings. The woman sat behind me was sobbing all the way through the final scene.