Kenneth Branagh plays the title role in a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s portrait of a man plagued with self-doubt and despair, which captures the atmosphere of Russia on the brink of revolution.
Once a man of great influence and means, Nikolai Ivanov has fallen into debt and out of love with his wife.
Spending his evenings away from home, amongst the idle and morally corrupt, Ivanov finds himself drawn to Sasha, the daughter of a wealthy friend, who appears determined to save him.
Chekhov wrote Ivanov, his first play, very quickly – completing the first draft in only ten days - but continued to rewrite it for several years. Two very different versions of the text survive.
The play was first performed in 1887 in Moscow. This version, which premieres on 12 September in London’s West End, has been reworked for a modern audience by Tom Stoppard.
For director Michael Grandage, the play "invites us to share the humour of a man clearly suffering. It's comic writing on the edge."
It is the first production in the Donmar Warehouse’s much-anticipated year-long residency at Wyndham’s Theatre – future highlights include Derek Jacobi in Twelfth Night and Jude Law as Hamlet.