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Uncle Vanya

12 December 2018
12 December 2018
  Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Krakow — Main Stage

Directed by:

Iwan Wyrypajew


Antoni Czechow


120 min.


120 / 90

Iwan Wyrypajew, an outstanding director and playwright, born in Russia and living in Poland, is famous for his own language of the stage, based on the original, anti-realistic play of the actors, and bearing the mark of metaphysical yearning.

Wyrypajew has long intended to surprise theatregoers with a classical, if not commercial, star-strewn virtuoso production with monumental sets and period costumes. Contrary to the trance-indiucing, puzzling, auteur plays, he intended to show a “clear and communicative” spectacle. Finally, he opted for “Uncle Vanya”.

A wooden Russian house among spruce woods, designed by Anna Met, harbours a samovar and even a tiled stove. Instead of Chekhov’s melancholy crafted from theatrical stereotypes, the director prefers to show how human hopes and emotions boil. What we watch is a two-hour charge by the director and the actors. The latter enact their dramatis personae not by experiencing, as instructed by Stanislavsky, the man behind the psychological theatre, but have fun with the roles like Wyrypajew is having fun with the theatre. Even the traditionally melancholic title hero is standing up to fight for the heart of Helena, as loud and dynamic as Astrov, the forefather of ecologists.

There academic realism developed with meticulous piety mustn’t be taken literally, as the nearly-hip neon reading “Wujaszek Wania” (Uncle Vanya) suggests. The play thus produced is an ironic answer to the times when theatregoers may feel tired with experimentation, obscenities, and nudity. Yet what we watch is not “a play from the good old times” but rather a subversive joke on the contemporary, when forests are threatened with felling, and people are unhappy in their own home and consider fleeing. Should they, however, flee, they won’t feel happy again.


Director: Iwan Wyrypajew

Author: Anton Chekhov, translated by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz

Sets: Anna Met

Costumes: Katarzyna Lewińska

Music: Jacek Jędrasik, Marek Kępa

Lights Director: Sergei Vasilew


Teresa Budzisz-Krzyżanowska, Karolina Gruszka/Magdalena Różczka, Marta Kurzak/Ewelina Pankowska, Anna Nehrebecka, Dariusz Chojnacki, Marcin Jędrzejewski, Szymon Kuśmider, Andrzej Seweryn, Maciej Stuhr