Minerva Theatre, Chichester 30 Mar – 5 May 2012 For years Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked tirelessly to keep the family’s dilapidated, remote estate from ruin. The return of Vanya’s brother-in-law Professor Serebryakov and his captivating second wife Yelena, and frequent visits from the charismatic Doctor Astrov, knock their lives off course as old loyalties and new loves conflict. When the Professor announces his plan to sell the estate, Vanya and Sonya are faced with an uncertain future and Vanya is provoked into a shocking act of violence. Funny and heartbreaking in turn as it moves seamlessly between humour and melancholy, Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece lays bare his characters’ passions, hopes and desires with exceptional warmth and poignancy. Anton Chekhov’s plays include The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and The Seagull. Michael Frayn has translated most of Chekhov’s plays. His own plays include Noises Off and Copenhagen, his novels Spies and Headlong. Roger Allam played Falstaff at Shakespeare’s Globe, winning the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Actor. In the same year he also won the Evening Standard Comedy Award for the film Tamara Drewe. He was last at Chichester in Festival 2006’s Pravda. Dervla Kirwan’s theatre credits include Exiles and Aristocrats (National Theatre) and Betrayal. Film credits include Ondine and television credits include The Silence and this year’s The Fuse starring alongside Christopher Eccleston. Timothy West was last at Chichester in A Number. His numerous theatre credits include The Collection, Quartet, King Lear and, most recently, A Number at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Television and film includes Exile, Bleak House, Iris and Endgame. Jeremy Herrin directed South Downs for Festival 2011. He is Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre where his credits include Haunted Child, The Heretic and That Face; other credits include Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter Theatre and Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe.