Acclaimed Russian theatre director Lev Dodin to stage Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" in November (with photos)

     Europe Theatre Prize winner Lev Dodin and the renowned Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg - Theatre of Europe will stage one of Anton Chekhov's most famous works, "Uncle Vanya", for Hong Kong audiences in early November.

     Directed by the acclaimed Dodin, Maly Drama Theatre's virtuoso performers will present a brilliantly natural rendition of the realist classic, which brings fresh insight and humour to aspects of everyday life. Exploring the universal themes of frustrated hope, meaningless work and wasted lives, the play echoes the sentiments of people down the ages. Vanya's outburst, "I have never lived", remains just as poignant today.

     Since its première the Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg's production of "Uncle Vanya" has toured the world, receiving numerous awards and great critical acclaim. The Guardian (UK) hailed it as "perfectly sublime...a beautiful production that has the stillness and luminosity of a great painting", while La Repubblica (Italy) wrote that "The Maly Drama Theatre offers acting of the highest quality - inspiring proof that even today theatre can be moving and serious".

     Lev Dodin is hailed as one of Russia's most influential theatre directors and the natural successor to theorist Constantin Stanislavski and his method acting system. Widely known for his rigorous training regimen, Dodin demands that each of his productions be rehearsed for at least two years to give actors the time to immerse themselves in their characters. With every expression and gesture his performers appear as "real people", engaging all the more effectively with the audience.

     Born in 1944, Dodin is a graduate of the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography (now renamed the St Petersburg Academy of Theatre Arts). He became Artistic Director of the Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg in 1983. He has since directed more than 60 works and received many national and international honours, including the Golden Mask Award, Golden Soffit Award, Stanislavski Award, Laurence Olivier Award, L'Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the prestigious Europe Theatre Prize. In 1967, Dodin started to teach at the St Petersburg Academy of Theatre Arts, where he has trained generations of top theatre actors and directors. His influence now extends to Russia, Europe, the US and Japan. Dodin is honorary president of the Union of Theatres of Europe.

     "Uncle Vanya" is one of the programmes of "World Cultures Festival 2013 - Lasting Legacies of Eastern Europe" presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged at 7.30pm on November 1 and 2, and at 2.30pm on November 3, at the Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium, with tickets priced at $180, $280, $380 and $480 for performances on November 1 and 2, and tickets priced at $140, $240, $340 and $440 for the performance on November 3. The shows will be conducted in Russian with English and Chinese subtitles. Tickets are now available at URBTIX. This programme contains smoking scenes and loud sounds.

     Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Other booking discounts of up to 20 per cent are available.

     Actor Sergey Kuryshev, who received Russia's Golden Mask Award for his performance as Uncle Vanya, will take part in a sharing session on Chekhov and Dodin from an actor's perspective, to be conducted in Russian with English and Cantonese interpretation at 11.30am on November 2, at AC1, Level 4, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Administration Building. Admission is free.

     A talk titled "Russian Theatre and Anton Chekhov: Eternal Values" will also be held at 4.30pm on November 2 at the Kwai Tsing Theatre Lecture Room. The speakers are Lev Dodin and Chair Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts, Goldsmiths College, University of London and co-editor of the New Theatre Quarterly, Maria Shevtsova. The talk will be conducted in Russian and English. Admission is free.

     Programme brochures are available at URBTIX outlets or at the festival website

     For programme enquiries, please call 2370 1044. Internet bookings can be made at Telephone credit card bookings can be made on 2111 5999.

Ends/Thursday, October 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:51