Newsletter – 12 June 2021

New Season Online

For our June film we’ve chosen Uncle Vanya (2020), a cinematic/stage collaboration between the play’s director Ian Rickson and film-maker Ross MacGibbon (Swan Lake, 2012; Sleeping Beauty, 2013; An American in Paris, 2018). Filmed at the City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds in October 2020, it benefits from a contemporary adaptation by Conor McPherson which nevertheless remains true in spirit to Chekov’s original. Members may remember that, in February 1996, we screened Louis Malle’s Vanya on 42nd Street, a modern language version featuring Wallace Shawn and Julianne Moore.

As before, we’ve produced a Programme Note for the film which is attached to this Newsletter, with June 24th at 7.30pm being set for a Zoom meeting to exchange your impressions of it. If you wish to partake in this event, please access the link in the Programme Note for the meeting particulars. (You will of course need to have the Zoom ‘app’ installed on your computer.)

For those who wish to send in reactions individually, please Email with your score (A → E) and comments. These reactions and comments will be published on the ABCD Website ( and/or included in the Zoom discussion relevant to the film. You will also find the scores and comments for May’s film Whitney: Can I be Me? on the Website.

Reviewing the stage production for The Guardian, Arifa Akbar wrote “[Director] Ian Rickson’s exquisite production is full of energy despite the play’s prevailing ennui. It does not radically re-invent or revolutionise Chekov’s 19th century story [but] returns us to the great, mournful spirit of [his] tale about unrequited love, aging and disappointment in middle age, while giving it a sleeker, modern beat”

The film is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.

ABCD Online Prog Note Vanya June 21