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Sonia Friedman Productions/ Angelica Films Co-Production Of Ian Rickson’s Production Of UNCLE VANYA To Receive Broadcast Release

04 September 2020

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @UncleVanyaPlay  

 A Sonia Friedman Productions/Angelica Films co-production 

In association with BBC

By Anton Chekhov 

In a new adaptation by Conor McPherson 

Directed by Ian Rickson 






When the country went into lockdown in March and theatres were forced to close, Ian Rickson’s acclaimed production of Uncle Vanya was in the final weeks of its scheduled, sold-out run. The production had received Olivier nominations for Toby Jones (Best Actor Award), Ian Rickson (Best Director Award), Bruno Poet (Best Lighting Design Award) and Rae Smith (Best Set Design Award). Despite the entire team’s best efforts and wishes, the live production will not be able to return. However...



Sonia Friedman Productions today is delighted to announce that Ian Rickson’s highly acclaimed production of Conor McPherson’s new adaptation of Uncle Vanya has been filmed on stage at the Harold Pinter Theatre in partnership with Angelica Films. The new film version of the production will be shown in cinemas ahead of broadcast on the BBC (date tbc) with further distribution details to be announced soon. This makes it the first UK stage production closed by the Coronavirus pandemic to have been filmed and produced for the screen.

Sonia Friedman Productions and the BBC have partnered with Angelica Films to create a sumptuous re-interpretation of Ian Rickson’s stage production. Marrying the intimacy of film with the electricity of live performance, the team has made this far more than simply a film of the play.

Directed for screen by Ross MacGibbon, the film reunites nearly all of the original cast of the production that was in its final weeks when the country went into lockdown in March and theatres were forced to close. Only Ciarán Hinds was unavailable and his role has now been taken by Roger Allam (A Number, EndeavourThe Moderate Soprano, The Thick of It).

“Sonia Friedman (SFP) and Sally Angel (Angelica Films) said: “Collaborating on filming Ian Rickson’s extraordinary production of Uncle Vanya has been a wonderful and inspiring experience. Despite all the challenges involved in filming this production (with no social distancing on screen), the results are testament to a brilliant and dedicated cast and crew led by Ian himself alongside Ross MacGibbon. It is such a privilege that we are able to bring this beautiful production to a wider audience after its run was cut so brutally short by the Covid-19 pandemic in March. We would also like to thank SFP’s loyal coproducers who have so generously allowed us to pursue this vision for the filmed production and enabled it to become a reality”.

The filming took place under strict Covid-19 secure, independently drawn up protocols, with the cast self-isolating and undergoing regular tests and the crew in masks, PPE and socially distancing throughout the process.

As live performances are unable to resume, if you are a current ticket holder, you do not need to do anything as your point of purchase will be in contact to arrange a credit note or refund, but we encourage you to sign up to hear when Uncle Vanya will be shown in cinemas and broadcast on the BBC.

Toby Jones (The Detectorists, The Birthday Party, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Richard Armitage (The HobbitThe Stranger), Rosalind Eleazar (The Personal History of David Copperfield, Deep Water, The Starry Messenger), Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education, Downstate), Anna Calder-Marshall (LOVE, Evening at the Talk House, Male of the Species), Dearbhla Molloy (The Ferryman, Dancing at Lughnasa, Juno and the Paycock), Peter Wight (The Birthday Party, Hamlet, The Red Lion) and Roger Allam (A Number, EndeavourThe Moderate Soprano, The Thick of It), all star in McPherson’s witty and timely adaptation of Chekhov’s classic.

 The production ran at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 14th January 2020 with an Opening Night on Thursday 23rd January 2020.  

In the heat of summer, Sonya (Aimee Lou Wood) and her Uncle Vanya (Toby Jones) while away their days on a crumbling estate deep in the countryside, visited occasionally only by the local doctor Astrov (Richard Armitage). 

However, when Sonya’s father Professor Serebryakov (Roger Allam) suddenly returns with his restless, alluring, new wife Yelena (Rosalind Eleazar) declaring his intention to sell the house, the polite facades crumble and long repressed feelings start to emerge with devastating consequences. 

Olivier Award-winner Conor McPherson’s stunning new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece, Uncle Vanya, is a portrayal of life at the turn of the 20th century, full of tumultuous frustration, dark humour and hidden passions. 

Uncle Vanya is the eleventh collaboration between Ian Rickson and Sonia Friedman Productions, with previous productions including RosmersholmJerusalem, The RiverBetrayal and The Children’s Hour.  

The stage production of Uncle Vanya was designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Bruno Poet, music by Stephen Warbeck, sound by Ian Dickinson and casting by Amy Ball CDG.  

The original production was presented by Sonia Friedman ProductionsGavin Kalin Productions, Rupert Gavin, Patrick Gracey/Scott M. Delman, 1001 Nights Productions, Tulchin Bartner Productions in association with Len Blavatnik, Eilene Davidson Productions, Louise & Brad Edgerton.

Transmission date and further distribution details will be announced soon.


BAFTA Award Winning British Actor Toby Jones is known for his performances both in the theatre and on screen. Last year he returned to our screens in Don’t Forget The Driver, a series he co-wrote with Tim Crouch for BBC 2.

2019 also saw him feature in The Last Thing He Wanted for Netflix, written and directed by Oscar nominated Dee Rees. This year he will return to our screens in Louis Wain alongside Benedict Cumberbatch. Further upcoming projects include The First Cow, American drama film directed by Kelly Reichardt, from a screenplay by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond based on Raymond's novel The Half Life. The film, released on Amazon in the US is soon for release here in the U.K. He has also finished filming, A Boy Called Christmas, the upcoming family film directed by Gil Kenan, based on the book of the same name by Matt Haig. 

Theatre Credits include: Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp.(Royal Court), The Birthday Party (Harold Pinter Theatre), Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court), The Painter (Arcola), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (National Theatre), Parlour Song (Almeida Theatre), Dumb Waiter and Other Pinter Pieces (Oxford Playhouse), Measure for Measure (Complicite at National Theatre), The Play What I Wrote (Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor  - Liverpool Playhouse, Wyndham's Theatre/ Lyceum Theatre, NY).

TV includes: BAFTA-award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series in the award-winning  Detectorists, The Girl (BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy nominations), Sherlock, Marvellous.

Film includes: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Naked Normandy, Journey’s End, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Snowman, Kaleidoscope, Happy End, Berberian Sound Studio, Atomic BlondeTale Of Tales, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Infamous (Best British Actor,  London Film Critics Circle Awards), Dad’s ArmyThe Secret AgentThe Witness For The Prosecution, MorganWayward PinesCapitalThe Man Who Knew InfinityThe Hunger Games series, the Harry Potter series, Captain America: The First AvengerCaptain America: The Winter SoldierLeave to Remain, By OurselvesMy Week With MarilynThe Adventures Of Tintin, Frost/NixonW The Painted Veil.



Richard is a multi-award-winning stage and screen actor best known for his role as Thorin in Peter Jackson's trilogy of The Hobbit and more recently as Daniel Miller in Epix Berlin Station, as well as Claude Becker in Oceans 8. Armitage also voices Trevor Belmont in the Netflix series Castlevania and Logan in Marvel’s Wolverine podcast. Richard recently shot independent The Lodge, directed by Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz which premiered at Sundance, and was just in Toronto where he was promoting independent feature My Zoe, written and directed by Julie Delpy. He has just wrapped shooting the lead in serialized thriller The Stranger for Netflix/Red Productions, based on Harlan Coben’s #1 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name. In theatre, Richard is well known for his critically acclaimed performance as John Proctor in The Crucible at the Old Vic Theatre. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance. Richard’s leading role in the Off-Broadway play, Love, Love, Love directed by Michael Mayer also garnered critical acclaim. 



Rosalind will play the role of Yelena. Born in London, Rosalind graduated from LAMDA in 2015, winning the Spotlight Prize for Best Drama School Graduate. She went on to make her stage debut in Plaques & Tangle at the Royal Court Theatre.

Her television credits include the series Deep Water for Kudos, in which she co-stars with Anna Friel and Sinead Matthews, Breeders, two series of HarlotsHowards EndRellikNWNational Treasure and Lore

She makes her feature film debut in The Personal History of David Copperfield, directed by Armando Iannucci, which opened the London Film Festival and released in January 2020. 

Most recently Rosalind appeared at Wyndham’s Theatre in The Starry Messenger opposite Matthew Broderick and Elizabeth McGovern. 



Aimee Lou Wood is a UK actress, who came to international attention as Aimee in Netflix’s Sex Education, starring opposite Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield, and James Purefoy.  

Aimee also will appear in the biopic Louis Wain, directed by Will Sharpe and staring Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Andrea Riseborough, Sharon Rooney, Stacey Martin and Hayley Squires.  

Last year, she starred as Effie in the acclaimed Downstate at the National Theatre. 

Aimee graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2017.  



Dearbhla Molloy will perform the role of Grandmaman. Dearbhla was recently nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman (Royal Court/Gieldud/Bernard B. Jacobs, Broadway). 

Her other theatre credits include In Celebration, Arcadia, Hamlet, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing (West End), The Cripple of Inishmaan (Drama Desk Award and Irish Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress), Hinterland, On the Ledge (National Theatre), The Hostage, Shadow of a Gunman, Lovegirl and the Innocent (RSC); Ditch (Old Vic Tunnels), The Seagull (Edinburgh Festival), Doubt (Tricycle), Juno and the Paycock for which she won the London Critics’ Award for Best Supporting Actress (Donmar/Roundabout), Macbeth (Bristol Old Vic), All My Sons (Liverpool), Trojan Women (Gate, London), And No More Shall We Part (Hampstead), Dancing at Lughnasa ( Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Special Award), A Touch of the Poet, Outside Mullingar (Broadway), The Cripple of Inishmaan (Atlantic Theatre / US Tour), Much Ado About Nothing (Guthrie Minneapolis), Afterplay (Irish Rep, New York), Moment (Studio Theatre, Washington DC), Translations, Aristocrats, The Misanthrope, Ivanov, Living Quarters, Mrs Warren’s Profession, A Life (Irish Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress) (Abbey Theatre), Phaedre, Uncle Vanya, The Philanthropist, Come on Over (Gate, Dublin); The Plough and the Stars (Gaiety).  

Dearbhla’s television credits includes Women on the Verge, Acceptable Risk, Scandal, Family Tree, Quirke, Casualty, Coronation Street, Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War, Waking the Dead, New Tricks, 55 Degrees North, Stan, Touch of Frost, Sex and the City, The Fragile Heart 

Her film credits include Wild Mountain Thyme, 3096, No Reservations, The Damned United, Tara Road, The Blackwater Lightship, Home for Christmas, Bloom, Frankie Starlight, Run of the Country, Loaded and This is the Sea. 

Dearbhla was the recipient of the US Audie Award for Best Female Solo Narration for My Dream of You by Nuala O'Faolain for which she also received a Grammy Award nomination. 



Anna Calder-Marshall will play the role of Nana. Anna is an award-winning stage and screen actress, whose theatre credits include Lost Without Words, LOVE, Evening at the Talk HouseThe Secret Rapture, The Seagull (National Theatre); The Philistines (RSC); Temple, Salt, Root & Rose (Donmar); Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Saint Joan, Peer Gynt (Birmingham Rep); The Lady's Not for Burning, Caesar and Cleopatra (Chichester); The Bargain, Troilus and Cressida (Theatre Royal Bath); Open Court: Death Tax, Uncle Vanya (Royal Court Theatre); The Herd (Bush Theatre); The Wild Duck (Lyceum); Antigone (Old Vic); A Kind of Alaska, Tejas Verdes (The Gate, London); The Importance of Being Earnest (Oxford Playhouse); Bird Calls (Sheffield Crucible); Comfort Me With Apples (Hampstead Theatre); Pastoral (Soho & Hightide); Danger: Memory! (Jermyn Street Theatre); The House of Bernada Alba (Hammersmith Lyric) 

Anna’s extensive television credits include Harlots, Les Misérables, Casualty, Scott and Bailey, New Tricks, The Bill, Holby Blue, Poirot, Dalziel and Pascoe, Doctor Who, Midsomer Murders, Witness Against Hitler, Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, Lovejoy, Heartbeat, Blood Royal: William the Conqueror, Rules of Engagement, Inspector Morse, Titus Andronicus, Strangers and Brothers, King Lear, The Winter's Tale, Hammer House of Horror, Bloomers, Matilda's England, A Woman's Place?, The Duchess of Duke Street, Crown Court, Under Western Skies, Affairs of the Heart, Play for Today, Male of the Species for which she won an Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Sanctuary, Love Story, The Wednesday Play.  

Her film credits include Last Christmas, Us Among the Stones, Love, Trespass Against Us, 13 Steps Down, Anna Karenina, Saints-Ex, Zulu Dawn, Wuthering Heights 



Peter Wight plays the role of Telegin. Peter’s theatre credits include Rosmersholm (Duke of York Theatre), The Birthday Party (Harold Pinter Theatre), Hamlet (Almeida/Harold Pinter Theatre), The Red LionIvanovSleep With MeMurmuring JudgesThe Resistible Rise of Arturo UiBlack SnowWaiting for Godot (National Theatre), The Seagull (Royal Court/Broadway), Trelawny of The Wells (Donmar Warehouse), Otherwise EngagedChekhov's Women (West End), The Spanish TragedyMuch Ado About NothingBarbariansA Clockwork OrangeHamlet (RSC), In The Republic of HappinessIn BasildonFace to the WallNot A Game for Boys (Royal Court), The Caretaker (Globe Theatre Warsaw), Edward IIMouth to Mouth (Royal Exchange Manchester), Dearly BelovedGrace (Hampstead Theatre), A State of AffairsOthelloCommediaProgress (Lyric Hammersmith), Julius Caesar (Riverside Studios), A Passion in Six DaysA Midsummer Night's DreamThe Nest (Sheffield Crucible), King LearThe Three Sisters (Birmingham Rep), Hard To Get (Traverse Edinburgh). 

His television credits include A Confession, This Time with Alan Partridge, Vanity Fair, Brief Encounters, I Want My Wife BackOur ZooThe MimicThe ParadiseHit and MissPublic EnemiesTitanicMoneyMonday MondayBoy Meets Girl10 Days to WarParty AnimalsEastendersPersuasionFantabulosa!Early DoorsRoom at the TopThe Security Men, and Uncle Adolf.  

 Peter’s film credits include The Sense of an Ending, Another Mother’s Son, The Program, Mr Turner, King of Soho, Brakes, Only You, Kon-Tiki, Hard Boiled Sweets, Clone, Atonement, Hot Fuzz, Lassie, Babel, Pride and Prejudice, The Statement, Lucky Break, Shiner and with Mike Leigh, Another Year, Mr Turner, Vera Drake, Naked, Secrets, Lies and Meantime. 


Theatre includes A Number (Bridge) Rutherford and Sons, Afterlife, The Cherry Orchard, Albert Speer, Summerfolk, Money, Troilus and Cressida, The Way of the World (National), Limehouse, Privates on Parade  (Donmar), The Moderate Soprano (Hampstead and West End), Seminar, The Giant (Hampstead), The Tempest, Henry IV Parts I & II(Globe), Uncle Vanya, Pravda (Chichester), La Cage aux Folles (Duke of York’s), God of Carnage (Theatre Royal Bath/Tour), Boeing Boeing(Comedy), Blackbird (King’s, Edinburgh and West End), Aladdin (Old Vic), Democracy (Wyndham’s), What the Night is For (Comedy),  Art(Wyndham’s), The Importance of Being Earnest (Birmingham & Old Vic), Arcadia (Haymarket), City of Angels (Prince of Wales), The Madras House (Lyric Hammersmith), Una Pooka (Tricycle), Much Ado About Nothing, The Seagull, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure,Macbeth (RSC).

Films include:  The Hippopotamus, The Truth Commissioner, Mr Holmes, Girls Night Out, The Book Thief, The Angels Share, The Iron Lady, The Woman in Black, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tamara Drewe, Speedracer, The Queen, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, V for Vendetta, A Cock and Bull Story.

TV includes: Endeavour, The Missing, Bad Education, Policitian’s Husband, Parades End, The Jury, Coming Up 2011: Food, Game of Thrones, Krod Mandoon, Ashes to Ashes, Margaret, The Curse of Steptoe, The Thick of It, A Class Apart,  Spooks, The Catherine Tate Show, Meet the Robinsons, Inspector Lynley, Manchild, Foyle’s War, Waking the Dead, Chambers, Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse.



Conor McPherson's plays include Rum and VodkaThe Good ThiefThis Lime Tree BowerSt NicholasThe Weir (Olivier Award, directed by Ian Rickson), Dublin CarolPort AuthorityShining City (Tony Award nomination), The Seafarer (Olivier, Tony and Evening Standard Award nominations), The VeilThe Night Alive (New York Drama Critics' Circle Award), and most recently, the Olivier Award-winning musical, Girl from the North Country, with Bob Dylan. 



Ian Rickson was the Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, where he directed The River (also Broadway) Jerusalem (also West End and Broadway), The Winterling, The Night Heron and Mojo (also Chicago), all by Jez Butterworth; Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen and This is a Chair by Caryl Churchill; Dublin Carol and The Weir by Conor McPherson (also Dublin, Chicago, West End and Broadway); The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (also Broadway); Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett; Alice Trilogy by Tom Murphy; The Sweetest Swing in Baseball and Boy Gets Girl by Rebecca Gilman; Fallout by Roy Williams; Mouth to Mouth by Kevin Elyot; The Lights by Howard Korder; Pale Horse and Some Voices by Joe Penhall; Ashes and Sand by Judy Upton and Killers by Adam Pernak. 

In the West End, Rickson has directed Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Rosmersholm (Duke of York’s Theatre); The Birthday Party, Old Times, Betrayal and The Children’s Hour (all at the Harold Pinter Theatre); and at the National Theatre, Translations by Brian Friel, Evening at the Talk House by Wallace Shawn, The Red Lion by Patrick Marber, The Hothouse by Harold Pinter and The Day I Stood Still by Kevin Elyot. Productions at the Old Vic include Electra by Sophocles. Productions at the Young Vic include The Nest, Now We Are Here and Hamlet. Productions at the Almeida Theatre include Against by Christopher Shinn and Parlour Song by Jez Butterworth. 

Work on screen includes Fallout (Company Pictures for Channel 4) and Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett (BBC4) and on radio In Therapy (BBC Radio 4). Rickson also works with PJ Harvey and Kate Tempest on their music and poetry shows.

SONIA FRIEDMAN PRODUCTIONS (SFP) is an international production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in London and New York.

Since 1990, SFP has developed, initiated and produced over 170 new productions and together the company has won a staggering 55 Olivier Awards, 30 Tonys and 2 BAFTAs.

In 2019, Sonia Friedman OBE was awarded ‘Producer of the Year’ at the Stage Awards for a record breaking fourth time. In 2018, Friedman was also featured in TIME 100, a list of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2017 she took the number one spot in 'The Stage 100', becoming the first number one in the history of the compilation not to own or operate West End theatres and the first solo woman for almost 20 years.

Current productions include: the UK premiere of The Book of Mormon, West End and UK & European Tour, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London, New York, Melbourne, San Francisco & Hamburg, Mean Girls at the August Wilson Theatre, New York & US Tour, and the world premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt at Wyndham’s Theatre, London.

Forthcoming productions include: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Toronto & Tokyo, To Kill a Mockingbird at the Gielgud Theatre, London, The Shark is Broken at the Ambassadors Theatre, London, Semmelweis starring Mark Rylance at Bristol Old Vic, Hamlet at Park Avenue Armory, New York, Oresteia at Park Avenue Armory, New York, Dreamgirls UK Tour and Oedipus starring Helen Mirren and Mark Strong. 

Previous theatre productions include: Fiddler on the RoofRosmersholm, The FerrymanThe Inheritance, Summer and Smoke, Dreamgirls, The JungleAll About EveConsent, The Birthday Party, Ink, Hamlet starring Andrew Scott, Our Ladies of Perpetual SuccourWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?TravestiesThe Glass MenagerieNice FishA Christmas CarolFunny GirlFarinelli and The KingHamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch, 1984, Sunny AfternoonBend It Like BeckhamThe NetherThe RiverElectraKing Charles IIIShakespeare in LoveGhostsMojoChimerica, Merrily We Roll AlongOld TimesTwelfth Night and Richard IIIA Chorus of DisapprovalThe Sunshine BoysHay FeverAbsent FriendsTop GirlsBetrayalMuch Ado About NothingClybourne ParkThe Children’s HourA Flea in Her EarLa BêteAll My SonsPrivate LivesJerusalemA Little Night MusicLegally BlondeOthelloArcadiaThe MountaintopThe Norman ConquestsA View From the BridgeDancing at LughnasaMaria Friedman: Re-ArrangedLa Cage aux FollesNo Man’s LandThe SeagullUnder the Blue SkyThat FaceDealer’s ChoiceHergés Adventures of TintinIn CelebrationBoeing-BoeingThe Dumb WaiterRock ‘n’ RollLove SongFaith HealerBentEh JoeDonkeys’ YearsOtherwise EngagedCelebrationShoot the CrowAs You Like ItThe Home PlaceWhose Life Is It Anyway?By the Bog of CatsThe Woman in WhiteGuantanamo: ‘Honor Bound to Defend Freedom’EndgameJumpersSee You Next TuesdayHitchcock BlondeAbsolutely! {Perhaps}Sexual Perversity in ChicagoRagtimeMacbethWhat the Night Is ForAfterplayUp for GrabsA Day in the Death of Joe EggNoises OffOn an Average DayA Servant to Two MastersPort AuthoritySpoonface Steinberg and Speed-The-Plow.

TV productions include BBC’s Wolf Hall (co-producer), The Dresser (Exec Producer) and King Lear with Anthony Hopkins (Exec Producer). 

For full details of SFP’s theatre productions, please visit

Angelica Films, an All3Media company, is led by award-winning producer Sally Angel, whose credits include the feature documentaries Tea With The Dames and Night Will FallInside the American Embassy, which captured nine months of daily life behind the scenes of the U.S. Embassy in London; and the digital short Missed Call. Collectively, these productions have won and been nominated for many of the industry’s most-coveted awards, including BAFTAs, Emmys, FOCAL and Peabody Awards. Angelica Films team have produced programmes for some of the world’s most-respected networks and SVODs, including HBO, Nat Geo, IFC, Hulu, Netflix, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and UKTV.

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