8 SEP 2020


The film, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, was produced as lock-downs took place in the region and filmed, without an audience. Safety measures were implemented to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.


BBC Arts has commissioned a Conor McPherson’s “Uncle Vanya."  The film, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and All3Media’s Angelica Films is set for both, theatrical release and airing on BBC Four. Its theatrical release will occur before being aired as part of BBC Arts Culture In Quarantine initiative in the UK. “It is such a privilege that we are able to bring this beautiful production to a wider audience after its run was cut so brutally short by the Covid-19 pandemic in March” SFP’s Sonia Friedman and Sally Angel Angelica Films’ Sally Angel, said.

The film, featuring a new adaptation, represents a specially commissioned version of the original stage production, It was directed by Olivier Award-nominated Ian Rickson, produced during lockdown by Sonia Friedman Productions and filmed without an audience. It features a superlative cast including Toby Jones, Richard Armitage, Rosalind Eleazar, Aimee Lou Wood, Anna Calder-Marshall, Dearbhla Molloy, Peter Wight, and Roger Allam, and is directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon.

“Uncle Vanya” was introduced at the Harold Pinter Theatre in January 2020, producing five-star reviews and regarded to by critics as ‘the perfect Chekhov’ (The Guardian). Despite playing to sold-out audiences from January, and currently nominated for four Olivier Awards, Uncle Vanya’s success was cut short in March 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 and the abrupt closure of theatres around the world.

As the first British theatre production closed by the pandemic to be filmed in situ, the production team obeyed strict protocols to ensure the safety of both the cast and staff. The safety measures include the cast being in isolation and on a COVID-19 testing schedule to allow them to perform together, and the crew has worked in protective masks and PPE while remaining socially distanced throughout the entirety of the production. “BBC Arts has been working with the creative industries throughout lockdown to ensure their work reaches a UK wide audience during this challenging time,” Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts said. “It’s a joy to know that the whole country will have access to such a brilliant adaptation of Chekov’s masterpiece.”

The 2-hour dramatic adaptation, mixed with dark humor, tells the story of a conflicted family forced who is forced to confront their despair, and each other, while living together on their isolated estate. Together, they gain geater esnance following a series of global events.


BBC Arts has been working with the creative industries throughout lock-down to ensure their work reaches a UK wide audience during this challenging time.” Jonty Claypole Director, BBC Arts