The picture (credit: Guardian) shows Michelle Dockery as Yelena and Neil Pearson as Dr Astrov in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, the inaugural production at Kingston’s Rose Theatre, where I have just spent Saturday afternoon.
The production is absolutely wonderful – every actor is fantastic, the translation naturalistic, and the play even more powerful than I remember. I was moved to tears by Sonia’s closing speech, which, according to the programme notes, Rachmaninov found so poignant that he set these poetic last words straight to music.
In all honesty I could not single out any of the actors in the ensemble cast for special praise, but I was thrilled to see Neil Pearson, one of my very favourite actors, on stage, playing the prescient environmentalist Astrov, energetically warning against man’s destruction of the climate and ecosystems. As he is sporting a beard for the duration, I am sure regular readers will understand my choice of picture.