The Candid Broads production of Uncle Vanya promises a reimagining of the play by highlighting the common sense of entrapment that we have all experienced during the pandemic lockdown and the consequential effect it has had on the lives of the young. How the feelings of loss and concerns for the future (mid-life crisis) has shifted to a younger time frame. It promises 'humour, music and a little vodka'. Though it is refreshing to see the petulance of youth delivering this classic story some of the real angst and gravitas of the play is lost as a result.

In the small hot venue this play sits very well and Georgia Lee Josephs set design, with its shattered timber shards framing the back wall, nicely implies the loss of woodland and the shattering of hopes within this classic story.

Director Kieran Bourne, has delivered the essence of what this new take was trying to achieve and has got some strong performances from his cast. However, there are some pace issues where the reflective moments are overstretched, and the busts of anger and frustration so strong and forceful that it is hard to hear some of the words.

Chekhov was described as a 'comic genius, but not in the Carry On sense' is a line from Educating Rita by Willy Russell. In this production the humour bordered on that extreme a little too easily. What is gains from engaging its audience in laughter, loses out on the depth of characterisation, leaving us laughing at their comic portrayals, rather the humour coming from the truths of the characters and their plight.

This is a reimagining that has some strong performances especially from Faye Bennett as Sonya who totally embodies here character and Jonathan George as her Uncle Vanya. He bestrides the stage and his throw away asides where both humorous whilst remaining real and true to his character.

As a production that wants to hold a mirror up to a society and a forgotten youth, it does that. However, there remains a nagging doubt that Uncle Vanya is the perfect vehicle for that.