(Jeremy Kingston's review appeared in the Times of London, Nov. 5.)  

Uncle Vanya at the Bristol Old Vic

This truly is the most wonderful production: a Chekhov that shows — as it must — the sorrows of wasted and wasteful lives but is performed by its exemplary cast to indicate also, as Chekhov wanted, the farcical comedy of those lives. Never before have I laughed so heartily at the third act of this play where Vanya shoots at his hated brother-in-law and misses, twice; where the other members of the family shriek, cower, sob, pray to God, wave pamphlets or offer the comfort of limeflower tea. It’s extraordinary. We sorrow for them. We roar with laughter.

Tom Morris, flushed with the success of War Horse, has only just taken over the running of this much-loved, recently threatened theatre. His opening season will not be announced until next week but in the meantime he has offered its facilities to one of this country’s most admired companies: Andrew Hilton’s Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.

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