The 10 Selected Productions

Onkel Wanja

By Anton Chekhov
German translation by Angela Schanelec
based on a translation by Arina Nestieva
Schauspiel Stuttgart

Premiere 27 October 2013
Onkel Wanja

Onkel Wanja. f.l. Peter Kurth, Katharina Knap

© Julian Röder

  • 3h 15, one interval
  • With English surtitles

Past Dates

Public discussion 6 May 2014, following the performance
Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Bar
with the ensemble and Christoph Leibold (jury)
Moderation Christine Wahl

A jacked-up estate car circles the stage like a gigantic clock’s laboriously dragging minute hand. Robert Borgmann suggests lethargy and paralyzing heat through chirping crickets and a suggestive sound carpet. He shows no fear of deceleration, but never risks becoming boring; He takes his time to let things develop – subtly, yet substantially. Peter Kurth plays a grumpy but not embittered Vanya who has resigned himself to living out his blighted life with decency. But then, an attractive woman is put right under his nose, in the form of Elena, the very young wife of a professor. His spirits are revived. And so is his disgust at his life. How the entire fabric of relationships at this Russian country estate comes apart, how sadness turns into depression and inertia into aggression – Borgmann describes it all entirely without sentimentality. And yet his look at Chekov’s characters doesn’t lack empathy. An astonishingly dynamic portrayal of stagnation.

Directed by / stage Robert Borgmann
Costumes Janina Brinkmann
Music webermichelson
Lighting design Sebastian Isbert
Dramaturgy Jan Hein

Aleksandr Vladimirovich Serebryakov, a retired professor Elmar Roloff
Yelena Andreyevna, his young wife Sandra Gerling
Sofia Alexandrovna (Sonia), his plain daughter by his first marriage Katharina Knap
Maria Vasilievna Voinitskaya, mother of the first wife of the professor Susanne Böwe
Ivan Petrovitch Voinitsky (Vanya), her son Peter Kurth
Michail Lvovich Astroff, a doctor Thomas Lawinky
Ilya Ilyitch Telegin, an impoverished landowner Michael Stiller
Marina, an old nurse Susanne Böwe
Sonia, young Nora Liebhäuser