Kassianni Austen is one of the early career professionals to join Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre for their staging of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya

Blue Bridge takes on Chekhov tale

Chekhov’s sardonic sense of humour has secured the 19th-century piece among favourites

During the opening week of Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s Uncle Vanya, the director posed a question aimed at anyone unsure of how to spend their entertainment budget.

“It’s a great acting company and a great play. How could you go wrong?”

Brian Richmond doesn’t downplay his fandom for Anton Chekhov, the Russian playwright behind the tragicomedy, with an “eerily contemporary sensibility as he dissects the hopes, loves and fears of his exquisitely drawn characters with the precision of a pathologist’s scalpel,” he said.

“I’ve directed this play three times,” said Richmond, also the company’s artistic director. “I love this play.”

Chekhov’s sardonic sense of humour has secured the 19th-century piece among favourites to teach at the University of Victoria.

“It was a very rich time period intellectually and in terms of the arts in Russia. Some of the world’s most brilliant writers and composers and artists came out of this time period. It was an extraordinarily intense period, characterized by the intellectuals and the artists discontent with the social structure around them.”

Blue Bridge’s mandate is to match early career professionals with more experienced performers. Among the company’s rising stars in Uncle Vanya are Nathan Brown a set and costume designer who came to Blue Bridge following undergrad at the University of Victoria and a recent design program at the University of Alberta; actress and Rifflandia co-founder Kassianni Austen, a new graduate of New York’s Columbia University; Blue Bridge newcomer Duncan Ollerenshaw – Mr. Toole on AMC’s Hell on Wheels; and Stratford Festival vet Amanda Lisman take on lead roles in the classic. Jacob Richmond, Chris Britton, Brian Linds, Iris MacGregor-Bannerman, Naomi Simpson and Trevor Hinton round out the cast.

“Blue Bridge has built its reputation on its dramas, so this is my attempt to give the audience a very, very strong drama,” Richmond said.

Uncle Vanya runs through June 16. Contact the McPherson Playhouse box office at 250-386-6121 or rmts.bc.ca for tickets and showtimes.

 

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Easter Seal’s Drop Zone gives participants chance to rappel down 13-storey Victoria building

Event supports Easter Seal’s services, specifically their camp in Shawnigan

ArtsAlive voting begins Thursday in Oak Bay

Residents can vote for the 2019 ArtsAlive top prize

Tackling ‘one fear after another:’ ‘Spirit Orca’ swimmers ready for next challenge

Victoria swimmers with developmental disabilities preparing for ocean relay in Great Bear Rainforest

Derelict trimaran removed from Oak Bay waters

Boat has been aground near Oak Bay Marina for over five months

Tuesday will be mainly cloudy

Plus your weekly forecast

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read