Full Casting Announced for UNCLE VANYA - John Hannah, Amanda Boxer, Buffy Davis and More

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Full Casting Announced for UNCLE VANYA - John Hannah, Amanda Boxer, Buffy Davis and More

Casting is announced today for a new version of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya by multiple award-winning playwright Anya Reiss, premiering on Wednesday 8 October at St. James Theatre. Directed by Russell Bolam, Reiss' adaptation of Chekhov's masterpiece of modern theatre reignites the piece for a 21st century audience, revealing the universal difficulties of impossible love, longing and regret.

John Hannah stars as Vanya, returning to the stage for the first time since 2008, after his role in Sky One's epic, Spartacus. Joining Hannah in the company are Amanda Boxer, Buffy Davis, Joe Dixon, Alan Francis and Amanda Hale.

A respected professor returns to his farmland which has been managed without him for many years. He brings with him a new, beautiful, young wife. Their arrival turns the lives of the residents and his family upside down forcing everyone to re-examine their choices. Old wounds are reopened, passions are awakened and thwarted ambitions bubble to the surface, threatening the lives of everyone involved.

Anya Reiss began writing plays at 14 when she became a member of the Royal Court Theatre's Young Writers' Programme and her debut play, The Spur of the Moment, premiered there in 2010 when she was 17, winning her the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. In 2011, producer Emily Dobbs brought Reiss and Bolam together to work on a series of productions which would reimagine Chekhov for a new audience. The Seagull opened at Southwark Playhouse to sell-out success in 2012 and was followed by Three Sisters at the same venue in 2014. Uncle Vanya is the third production uniting this creative team and will further the fusion of a classic voice with a contemporary vitality.

Jagged Fence Productions will bring Uncle Vanya to the stage as part of the ONE STAGE season running September to December at the St. James Theatre. It is supported by Stage One, the charity which supports emerging commercial theatre producers. This new version of Uncle Vanya was commissioned by Emily Dobbs on behalf of Jagged Fence Productions. Janet Bird will design, with lighting by Johanna Town, music by Isobel Waller Bridge and casting by Hayley Kaimakliotis.

EMILY DOBBS, Producer

Emily Dobbs trained as an actor at Central School of Speech and Drama and founded Jagged Fence Productions Ltd in 2006.

Jagged Fence creates fresh, fearless theatre that fuels ambition and promotes artistic excellence.

The company has a focused artistic policy that includes commissioning original adaptations and new writing, contemporary re-imaginings of classics, and revivals and has produced critically acclaimed work across London, at regional venues and in New York.

Since its formation, Jagged Fence has produced critically acclaimed work across London, at regional venues in the UK, and in New York.

Theatre includes: Three Sisters, The Love Girl And The Innocent, The Seagull, The Only True History Of Lizzie Finn, Antigone, The Hostage (Southwark Playhouse); Cornelius (New York transfer to 59E59 Theater); A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Gotcha, Stars In The Morning Skies (Riverside Studios); Dusa Fish Stas & Vi, Love On The Dole, Ours (Finborough); Can't Stand Up For Falling Down (Arcola). Touring productions include: Dusa Fish Stas & Vi, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It.

Emily attended the Stage One Workshop for New Producers and was awarded a Stage One Bursary for New Producers 2011-2012 for her production of The Only True History of Lizzie Finn, directed by Blanche McIntyre at Southwark Playhouse.

The Seagull received huge critical acclaim, was nominated for Off West End awards and enjoyed sell out success at Southwark Playhouse.

A charity arm of the company - Jagged Fence Theatre - was formed in 2009, which focuses on new writing commissions; Research and Development; educational work with Young People; and touring productions.

ANYA REISS, Writer
For the stage Anya has most recently adapted Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening, which toured earlier this year for Headlong Theatre, as well as a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, which played at the Southwark Playhouse in April.

She previously adapted Chekhov's The Seagull (also at the Southwark Playhouse and a subsequent revival at the Lowry in Salford) and wrote Forty-Five Minutes for the National Theatre's 2013 Connections Festival. Prior to that she wrote The Acid Test, which opened at the Royal Court in May 2011 and received rave reviews.

Her debut play, Spur of the Moment (written when she was 17), opened at the Royal Court Theatre in July 2010, for which she won the Most Promising Playwright Award at the 2010 Evening Standard Awards, Best New Play at the 2010 TMA Awards, and Most Promising Playwright at the 2010 Critics' Circle Awards.

She is currently writing a screenplay for DNA/Film4, Handsome Devils, another for Number 9 Films, is developing a TV series idea, Exclusive, with Lovely Day Productions, and is also a core writer on EastEnders.

RUSSELL BOLAM, Director
Russell Bolam trained at Middlesex University and GITIS Academy of Theatre Arts, Moscow.

Theatre includes: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Ivan Vazov), Three Sisters, The Seagull, Shivered (Southwark Playhouse)In Skagway, The Road to Mecca (Arcola), The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre / Ivan Vazov), Alfred (Vineyard Theatre), Somersaults, Captain Oates' Left Sock (Finborough) Three More Sleepless Nights, Fourplay (Tristan Bates Theatre), andThe Physicists (Aphra Studio).

His comedy directing includes shows with Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominees Pappy's and The Beta Males.

Russell is a visiting director at Arts Ed, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Central School of Speech and Drama, Oxford School of Drama and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He is a part time teacher at Kent University, a Globe Education Practitioner and Visiting Artist at the National Student Drama Festival.

AMANDA BOXER, Marina
Amanda was most recently on stage in Speed Twins (Riverside Studios) and Relative Values (Harold Pinter Theatre/Theatre Royal Bath). Other theatre credits include: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Painter (Arcola Theatre), Prisoner of Second Avenue (Vaudeville Theatre), Cling to me Like Ivy (Birmingham Rep), Many Roads to Paradise (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Almeida Theatre), The Pain and the Itch, The Strip (Royal Court Theatre), No Shame No Fear (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Graduate (Gielgud Theatre), The Man Who Came to Dinner (Chichester Festival Theatre), All My Sons, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Twelfth Night andThe Importance of Being Earnest (The Young Vic).

Television work includes: Casualty, Silent Witness, Doctors, Queen Mother, Bodies 3, The Shell Seekers, The Commander, Trial & Retribution III & VIII, Tom Brown's School Days, Down to Earth, Goodbye My Love and Cider with Rosie.

Amanda's film credits include: Chatroom, Malice in Wonderland, Flight 93, Churchill at War, Saving Private Ryan andSorted.

BUFFY DAVIS, Maria
Buffy has worked frequently at the National Theatre, The Old Vic and the Young Vic and extensively in radio drama, audio books and voice overs. Her recent theatre credits include: School for Scandal (Park Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), Annie Get Your Gun, Government Inspector, Christmas Carol (Young Vic), Sunday in the Park with George, The Rose Tattoo (National Theatre), Punchbag (Hampstead) and It's A Girl! (Bush).

Film credits include: Anna Karenina, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Machinist, Until Death and Annie! A Royal Adventure.

Television work includes: What Remains, Silk , Undercover Heart, Canterbury Tales - The Miller's Tale, Holby City, Mutual Friends, Dalziel and Pascoe, My Sister Wife, Waking the Dead, Upstairs Downstairs, Casualty, Doc Martin, Polterguests, Ultimate Force and Wycliffe.

JOE DIXON, Astrov
Joe's theatre career includes multiple roles with the RSC, Young Vic and the National Theatre. Credits include:Threeway (Invisible Dot), The Orphan of Zhao, Boris Bodunov (RSC), Troilus and Cressida (RSC/Wooster Group), The Real Inspector Hound / The Critic (Chichester Festival), Cruel and Tender (The Young Vic / European Tour), As You Like It (Cheek by Jowl, World Tour), The Duchess of Malfi (Greenwich/Wyndham's West End), The Bacchae (QEH Southbank), Romeo & Juliet (Young Vic, National and International Tour) and A Winter's Tale (Royal National Theatre).

Television credits include: Lewis, Atlantis, Sirens, Silent Witness, Dr. Who, When I'm Sixty Four, The Stretford Wives,An Unsuitable Job For a Woman, Holding On, The Last Muskateer, and The Manageress.

Joe's film credits include: The Cold Light of Day, 14 Days with Victor, The Mummy Returns (Universal) and The Changeling.

ALAN FRANCIS, Telygin
Alan is known for his work across stage and screen, particularly in comedy. He most recently performed Alan Francis: Expands at Leicester Square Theatre and on Tour. Other theatre credits include: Cul-De-Sac (Theatre 503), Twelfth Night (RSC), Accolade (Finborough Theatre), Terror (Soho Theatre), Caledonia (National Theatre of Scotland), Hotel Play (Royal Court Theatre), The Wonderful World of Dissocia (National Theatre of Scotland), and Penetrator (Royal Court and Traverse Theatre).

Alan's television credits include: Babylon, Pulling, Taggart, Physcoville and Mid-Morning Matters.

Radio credits include: Stamp Collecting With Legs and It's That Jo Caulfield Again. Alan has also recorded his own radio series INSIDE ALAN FRANCIS (all BBC Radio 4).

AMANDA HALE, Sonya
Amanda was most recently seen on stage in The Nether (Royal Court Theatre). Other theatre credits include: The Domino Heart (Finborough Theatre), El Dorado (Arcola Theatre), The House of Bernada Alba (Almeida Theatre);Wastwater (Royal Court Theatre), Elektra (Young Vic), Our Class (National Theatre), After Dido, King Lear (Young Vic),The City (Royal Court Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (Bill Kenwright Productions), Crooked (Bush Theatre) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Oxford Playhouse).

Amanda has also worked extensively in television and her credits include: Dates, The White Queen, Being Human,Ripper Street, Rev (Series 2), Crimson Petal & the White, Any Human Heart, Spooks, Murderland, Persuasion andRichard is My Boyfriend.

Film credits include: Scrubber, Invisible Woman, The Look of Love and Bright Star.

JOHN HANNAH, Vanya
John recently played Batiatus in Sky One's Spartacus. John is well known for his roles in films such as Sliding Doors andThe Mummy as well as a wide ranging catalogue of work on stage and screen. John's theatre credits include: Riflemind(Trafalgar Studios), The Mercy Seat (Almeida), Miss Julie (Young Vic), Somewhere (National Theatre), The Daughter in Law (Bristol Old Vic), The Silent Woman and A Clockwork Orange (both RSC).

Television credits include: Atlantis, The Widower, Damages, Touch of Cloth (3 series), The Words, Kidnap and Ransom, Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2 series), Cold Blood (2 series), New Street Law (2 series) and Truth of Dare.

Film credits include: Valentine's Kiss, Shooting for Socrates, Last Legion Mummy I, II & III, Sliding Doors and Four Weddings & A Funeral.

About Stage One
Stage One is the operating name of the Theatre Investment Fund Ltd, a registered charity number 271349. Patrons of Stage One include Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

The Start-Up Fund is supported by individuals, trusts and businesses that care about the future of commercial theatre. Stage One is incredibly grateful for all the financial and practical support these people and businesses give.

Stage One supports new theatre producers with industry-led training workshops, bursaries, Apprenticeships, Start-Up investment, mentoring and advice. In addition, Stage One can also offer central London office space to bursary recipients. The New Producers Hub is in the heart of the West End and is generously supported by Shaftesbury PLC.

To find out more, please visit www.stageone.uk.com

About St. James Theatre
The St. James Theatre opened its doors in September 2012 on the site of the old Westminster Theatre. The space includes a 312 seat theatre, an intimate studio space, restaurant and bar. Main House productions to date include Ellie Jones's critically acclaimed production of Invincible by Torben Betts; the acclaimed UK premiere of Urinetown the Musical, which will transfer to the Apollo in the West End from September 2014; the revival of Tell Me on a Sunday,which transferred to the West End and received an Oliver Award nomination; the sell-out production of Sondheim revue show Putting it Together; Sir Trevor Nunn's production of Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage, starring Olivia Williams and Mark Bazeley, and Sandi Toksvig's Bully Boy.

For more information, please visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk

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