Harrogate Advertiser Review:
"Powerful play on the deep and meaningful current of life
It would be hard to immagine a more effective production of Uncle Vanya.
Set on a country estate in Russia at the end of the last century, the action takes place during a period when professor Serebiakov, Vanya's brother-in-law, has come to visit with his second wife, the statuesque Yeliena. It begins with a doctor standing with his back to the audience, staring out at the Russian countryside in all its summer glory, represented by a striking backdrop.
Mike Allen gives an assured performance as Doctor Astrov, a vegetarian and idealist who passionately believes in reafforestation because "trees make people more gentle". But he is in the throws of self-doubt and inactivity. "I'm becoming a stupid old man, I feel detached somehow" he tells Marina, the elderly stoicle nurse expertly played by Jenny Antram.
Vanya, who appropriately enough is sleeping when the play starts, is similarly disaffected. Infuriated by a cliched comment about the weather, he savagely replies "yes, it would be nice even to hang yourself on a day like this".
Director Ian Rattee must be congratulated on his adaptation of the play - he has carefully updated the language removing anachronisms ("hospital" replaced "medical establishment") and the dialogue flows much more freely because of it."