A masterpiece of Russian drama, now in a student edition Along with Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya is credited as one of Chekhov's masterpieces and a significant precursor of modern drama. Set on a country estate in late nineteenth century Russia, Uncle Vanya is in part a study of the enervation of Russian middle-class provincial life. The major dynamics between the characters themselves are centred on two obsessive love affairs that lead nowhere and a flirtation that brings disaster. Mixing the tragic and the absurd and dealing with a form that allows for ambiguity and contradiction, Uncle Vanya has been deemed "the first modernist play". (David Lan) "It is the element of might-have-been in Chekhov's characters that makes their sense of waste so tragic I know of no more moving climax in world drama." Guardian Definitive translation by acclaimed playwright Michael FraynMethuen Student Editions are expertly annotated texts of a wide range of plays.
Contains the complete text of the play, the volume contains a chronology of the playwright's life and work; an introduction giving the background to the play; a discussion of various interpretations; and notes on individual words and phrases in the text
Michael Frayn's work for the stage includes Alphabetical Order, Make and Break and Noises Off, all of which received Best Comedy of the Year awards, while Benefactors was named Best Play of the Year. His other works include Democracy (National Theatre and West End prior to Broadway) and Copenhagen (winner of numerous awards including the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Best Play Awards 1998). He has translated Chekhov's four last plays and is also a novelist and recipient of the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel for Spies.