Uncle Vanya

The Theatre On the Balustrade, Prague, Czech Republic, 2000
Author: Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Directed by Petr Lébl

about the production

By staging Uncle Vanya, after The Seagull and Ivanov, Petr Lébl accomplished the Chekhov trilogy in the Theatre On the Balustrade and he again stirred the waters of professional public opinion. He chose a play which deals with feelings at the end of the century, with tiredness but also belief in a new beginning. Beyond the wooden gates of a rural mansion, the closed world of those who have been trapped in their vain desires and unattainable loves, in their losses and resignations, opens up far the viewers. Characters who realise their own difficult situation, the complexity of disposition and fatal destiny, but also the vanity of hopes and illusions, live their fate on the stage. The production raises questions about the relationship of the past and the future, liberation and false optimism, love and passion.

Lébl introduces the world of Chekhov through his own provoking approach with a firework of original ideas, inventions and craziness. He offers a superstructure composed of his own meanings. He makes every­thing pathetic, sentimental, parodically poetic, caricaturistic, grotesque... We can sing the popular hit Roses from Texas, play football, find ourselves in the environment of an American western, enter a monumentally mysterious library or witness a declaration of love on the roof of a house. The Chekhov we do not know; the Lébl we have gat used to.


Director: Petr Lébl
Translation: Leoš Suchařípa
Dramaturgist: Ivana Slámová
Stage design: Jan Marek
Costume design: Kateřina Štefková
Music: W. A. Mozart, Filip Topol
Musical co-operation: Miki Jelínek, Vladimír Merta
Cast: Serebrjakov: Leoš Suchařípa, Jelena: Eva Holubová, Soňa: Petra Špalková, Vojnická: Jarmila Očásková, Ivan Vojnickij: Jiří Ornest, Astrov: Bohumil Klepl, Telegin: Vladimír Marek, Marina: Zdena Hadrbolcová, Strážca / A watchman: Jiří Švejda, Dedinčania / Villagers: Tomáš Mery, Pavel Raindl, Darina Korandová, Aleš Sturm, Karel Kűhnel


Petr Lébl (1965 – 1999)

A great personality of the Czech theatre of the 90s, one of the most imaginative directors of the present-day young generation. Talented, artistically mature, inventive, provoking, inspirational, acknowledged, withdrawn, friendly, individual... That is what he was like and that is what his exceptional work remains.

The leading personality of the JELO amateur theatre studia: K. Vonnegut’s Slapstick, Ch. Morgenstern's Remand Centre, M. Elaine’s Snake, F. Kafka's The Metamorphosis, S. Wyspiański´s Wedding.

The first professional pieces directed: E. Tobiáš’s Vojcev and T. Dorst´s Fernando Krapp Wrote Me a Letter – both in the Labyrint Theatre in Prague. In 1993 he became art manager and profile director of the Theatre On the Balustrade in Prague. His activity there is linked to famous productions: J. A. Pitínský's Small Room, J. Genet´s Maids, L. Stroupežnický's Our Own Braggarts, A. P. Chekhov's The Seagull (A. Radok Prize far best production of the year, 1994), N. V. Gogol's The Government Inspector, J. M. Synge's Playboy of the Western World, musical Cabaret, A. P. Chekhov's Ivanov (A. Radok Prize far best production of the year, 1997), S. Wyspiański´s Wedding, J. A. Pitínský's Mother, I. Örkény's Catsplay, Ch. Boychev's Colonel Bird  and A. P. Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.

In 1997 he made a guest appearance in Habima National Theatre in Tel Aviv, Israel with Cyrano from Bergerac and in 1998 in the Opera of the National Theatre in Prague with The Branibors in Bohemia.

He co-operated with the Czech Television: a cycle of fictitious discussion programmes of the Kroměříž Studio, publicist art programmes from the Eliad Library of the Theatre On the Balustrade and television recordings of his own theatre productions.

He died under tragical circumstances on 12 December 1999.