Sergey Epishev, Pavel Chinarev, Avangard Leontiev were on the same stage

“Uncle Vanya” has repeatedly returned to the stage of the Moscow Art Theater in different performances.

Photo: Anastasia PLESHAKOVA

In the year of the 125th anniversary (we will celebrate it in October) of the Moscow Art Theater, we cannot do without a new performance based on Chekhov. “Uncle Vanya” – a historical play for the Moscow Art Theater – was first staged on this stage by Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko during the lifetime of Anton Pavlovich in 1899. Well, then “Uncle Vanya” returned to the Theater of Moscow art more than once in different interpretations.

This time he returned with the light hand of director Denis Azarov, who was seized by the theme of global loneliness and complete disgust. Before the performance, the director and the actors involved in it managed to share their impressions with journalists.

– Chekhov’s heroes are complex people. Therefore, between them… disconnect. In this play, there is not a single couple where love is mutual, Denis Azarov explained. – Chekhov is very ironic. We also try to treat the suffering of the heroes with irony, to make this story fun and funny. Although, of course, everyone will be sorry. All the characters are unhappy people, they just don’t know it. Personally, as a director, I feel very, very sorry for them…

The famous Chekhovian irony “is born by itself from the dramatic relationships of the characters”

Photo: Anastasia PLESHAKOVA

The role of Voinitsky is played by Sergei Epishev, who, by his own admission, had not previously been associated with Uncle Vanya. But he couldn’t resist the offer: the Moscow Art Theater, the anniversary year, Chekhov, the big stage: a status story.

“This is a performance about intelligent people (we, the actors, are also, in a sense, intellectuals), who, by chance, ended up in one place,” Epishev explained to reporters. They don’t get along with each other. They love the wrong people, live in the wrong place, and do things they don’t want to do. But there’s nowhere to go…

After watching the performance, there was a feeling: it is, there is nowhere to go. The artists (and the director as well) didn’t just end up together “by chance”, they simply won the cast in the lottery. Pavel Chinarev pulled out a lucky ticket, which says “Dr. Astrov”. The wonderful Svetlana Kolpakova was lucky to become Elena Andreevna. And it is completely pure coincidence – the choice of actors for the role of Voinitsky and Professor Serebryakov.

Chekhov’s heroes are complex people.

Photo: Anastasia PLESHAKOVA

– Sergei Epishev is tall, Vanguard Leontiev (plays a professor) is not big in stature. And this is a ready-made solution, the director Denis Azarov simply explained the “concept” of him.

You don’t have to invent anything. It can be viewed this way: Voinitsky and Serebryakov are antipodes. One (high) for high spiritual values. The other (short) is pragmatic and stays firmly on the ground. The Leontiev avant-garde really had “pragmatic” motives. There are not so many Chekhov heroes in his history. Once played Epikhodov and Gaev. Well, that’s all … And then all Serebryakov was offered!

Having chosen the artists “by height”, the director decided that Chekhov would do the rest for him, because the text is “bright and relevant” … It has everything: both love and compassion, and the famous Chekhovian irony “is born by itself from the dramatic relationships of the characters.

Ironic Chekhov, sitting at this anniversary performance, would have laughed to tears.

Photo: Anastasia PLESHAKOVA

Svetlana Kolpakova could not resist the temptation. She is a wonderful artist, but in the role of Elena Andreevna, in whose veins mermaid blood flows, be a mermaid, it is difficult to imagine her. The same story with Daria Yurskaya, who plays mom Voynitskaya. To call her an old jackdaw, looking at the grave with one eye, it is impossible even with a rich imagination. The only question that arises is: why didn’t the heartthrob Astrov hit her?

Probably just because maman reads Serebryakov’s scientific pamphlets and treatises all the time, which is how the performance begins. In addition, he teaches ballet classes. Whom? Service. The director easily justified the appearance of workers playing ballerinas: not only did Uncle Vanya get lazy on Serebryakov’s estate (he dances to the Kiss song “I Was Made for Lovin You”), but ordinary people dance instead. to work. At the same time, Serebryakov is tormented by gout and cursed old age. The doctor passionately kisses Sonya, something Chekhov did not have, but why not? This Astrov is cunning: “he disguises himself under a collage of different curtains,” actor Pavel Chinarev explained about the character of his hero. That is pure indifference and disgust.

I think that the ironic Chekhov, sitting at this anniversary performance, would have laughed to tears. I wish the performance would survive until the anniversary of the theater.


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