Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

London theatre news: Sunday 23 February 2020

Comedy - London West End - Shows

Tony award-winning Best Play comedy 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' gets its London premiere from 21 March at Charing Cross Theatre.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Charing Cross Theatre

Image courtesy Charing Cross Theatre

Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning Best Play comedy - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike - gets an 8-week season at Charing Cross Theatre from Saturday 21 March  to Saturday 16 May.

The show will have its opening night on Monday 30 March and final casting has been announced with Vincent Franklin, Rebecca Lacey, Michelle Asante, Charlie Maher and Lukwesa Mwamba joining the previously announced two time Olivier award-winner Janie Dee.

Cast of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Charing Cross Theatre

Top row (from left): Janie Dee, Vincent Franklin, Rebecca Lacey

Bottom row: Michelle Asante, Charlie Maher, Lukwesa Mwamba

Christopher Durang's comedy is one of the most lauded Broadway plays of recent years, blending Chekhov's famous ennui with the modern-day concerns of celebrity, social networking, planetary upheaval and the troubling onset of middle age.

About the playwright

Christopher Durang's plays include 'A History of the American Film' (Tony nomination, Best Book of a Musical, 1978), 'The Actor's Nightmare', 'Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You' (Obie award; off-Bway run 1981-83), 'Beyond Therapy' (on Broadway in 1982, with Dianne Wiest and John Lithgow), 'Baby with the Bathwater' (Playwrights Horizons, 1983), 'The Marriage of Bette and Boo' (Public Theatre, 1985; Obie award, Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award), 'Laughing Wild' (Playwrights Horizons, 1987), 'Durang/Durang' (an evening of six plays at Manhattan Theatre Club, 1994, including the Tennessee Williams' parody, 'For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls'), 'Sex and Longing' (Lincoln Center Theatre production at the Cort Theatre, 1996, starring Sigourney Weaver), and 'Betty's Summer Vacation' (Playwrights Horizons, 1999; Obie award).

His most recent works are 'Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge', which premiered at City Theatre in Pittsburgh in 2002.

And the musical 'Adrift in Macao', with music by Peter Melnick and book and lyrics by Mr Durang, premiered at New York Stage and Film in summer 2002.

Christopher is also a performer, and acted with E. Katherine Kerr in the N.Y. premiere of 'Laughing Wild', and with Jean Smart in the L.A. production.

About the director

As a performer, Walter Bobbie played Roger in the Broadway production of 'Grease' in 1972.

He also starred on Broadway as Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the 1992 revival of 'Guys and Dolls', for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.

In 1993 he wrote the book for, and directed, the Roundabout Theatre production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein revue 'A Grand Night for Singing', for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical.

He then directed the 1996 Broadway revival of 'Chicago' with Ann Reinking and Bebe Neuwirth.

Mr Bobbie's 1996 revival of 'Chicago' was inspired by his own staged concert production at City Center Encores!.

The concert was a hit, and the musical moved directly to Broadway with its original Encores! cast.

He won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Chicago and then directed the Broadway productions of the stage musical 'Footloose' in 1998, (he also co-wrote the book), the Roundabout Theater production of 'Twentieth Century' with Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche, the 2005 'Sweet Charity' revival with Christina Applegate, and 'High Fidelity' in 2006.

The musical 'White Christmas' which he directed had limited runs on Broadway in November 2008 and again in November 2009.

Mr Bobbie received the 2009 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Director of a Musical.

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