Sydney Theatre Company's highly successful production of Uncle Vanya has been
honoured at a ceremony in the United States, with two prestigious Helen Hayes
Awards for performances last year at the Kennedy Center, Washington.
At a ceremony at Washington’s Warner Theatre on Monday evening, STC Co
Artistic Director Cate Blanchett won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a
Non-Resident Production for her performance as Yelena, and Hugo Weaving won
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Non-Resident Production for his
performance as Astrov.
Both Blanchett and Weaving are currently receiving plaudits for their performances
in separate Sydney Theatre Company productions. Cate Blanchett is performing in
Gross und Klein at the Barbican in London while Hugo Weaving is on stage at
STC’s Wharf 1 in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov, adapted
by Andrew Upton and directed by Tamás Ascher, was a critical triumph at Sydney
Theatre in November and December 2010, before its Kennedy Center run in August 2011.
Washington Post critic Peter Marks wrote in his review: “The Sydney company, run
jointly by Blanchett and Upton, came to town two years ago with an astonishing
version of A Streetcar Named Desire, which was anchored by the actress. In its
way, this emotionally in-touch Uncle Vanya, buoyed by its entire cast, is just as
extraordinary… The scenes crackle with spontaneity, and as a result, you often find
yourself laughing at bits of behaviour because you recognize them as both
theatrically inventive and true.”
Reviewing the production in Washington for The New York Times, Ben
Brantley wrote “I consider the three hours I spent on Saturday night watching them
complain about how bored they are among the happiest of my theatregoing life”.
The entire original cast – John Bell, Cate Blanchett, Sandy Gore, Hayley
McElhinney, Anthony Phelan, Richard Roxburgh, Andrew Tighe, Jacki Weaver and
Hugo Weaving – will again reprise their roles for the Lincoln Center Festival, New
York, with performances from 19 to 28 July 2012