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In rehearsal: Uncle Vanya at the Almeida Theatre

First Published 13 January 2016, Last Updated 30 May 2018

Have you noticed a shortage of Post-it notes this January? Like a stationery-obsessed Poirot, we’ve solved the mystery; they’re all with Paul Rhys, Tobias Menzies and Jessica Brown Findlay in the Uncle Vanya rehearsal room.

It may not be the most obvious facet of Manuel Harlan’s rehearsal room pictures to notice, what with those household names hanging around in the foreground, but the systematic and impeccably ordered positioning of reminder notes on the rehearsal room wall has us intrigued.

What’s on them? Are they genuinely reminders to pick up a loaf of bread on the way home? Whose Line Is It Anyway suggestions to perk up running scenes? Cake recipes to provide inspiration for the next day’s snackage? I guess we’ll never know.

We’ve so many questions. Is the tea urn a prop or a source of warming liquid calm? Where did Brown Findlay and Kirby get their jumpers; we have pullover envy?

Most importantly, of course, how is adaptor/director Robert Icke going to work his magic on Chekhov’s classic drama of purpose and the lack of it, following his remarkable and hugely acclaimed work on Oresteia last year?

We won’t know that until the show hits the Almeida Theatre stage in February. Until then we’ll have to make do with these query-sparking images.

You can book tickets for Uncle Vanya through the Almeida Theatre website.


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