BBC Play of the Month: Season 10, Episode 3

The Wood Demon (17 Nov. 1974)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 17 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

A luncheon party gathers to celebrate a wealthy unmarried man's birthday; his sister hopes he'll marry Sonya, the daughter of a selfish gout-ridden old professor who makes life Hell for his... See full summary »

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Title: The Wood Demon (17 Nov 1974)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Khrushchov
...
Helen
Ronald Hines ...
Voynitsky
Ronald Fraser ...
...
Theodore
Angela Pleasence ...
Julia
Cyril Luckham ...
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Dyadin
Vickery Turner ...
Sonya
Anthony Douse ...
Zheltukhin
Daphne Heard ...
Mrs. Voynitsky
Jay Neill ...
Vasily
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Storyline

A luncheon party gathers to celebrate a wealthy unmarried man's birthday; his sister hopes he'll marry Sonya, the daughter of a selfish gout-ridden old professor who makes life Hell for his son George and his young wife, Helen. At the luncheon is Khrushchov, a passionate environmentalist, called "the Wood Demon" by all, in love with Sonya and she with him, but neither will say it. Two weeks later there's a family meeting at the professor's estate; two weeks after that, a supper at the cabin of Dyadin, who's cheerful to all. George, Helen, Sonya, and Khrushchov are each suffocating. Can any of them take action? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama

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17 November 1974 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

"The Wood Demon" is Chekhov's early vision of "Uncle Vanya"
13 June 2005 | by (Phlorida) – See all my reviews

I saw this play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. It's a first draft of "Uncle Vanya" with a much heavier stress on the comedic elements than has the finished play. Here the uncle's name is George. There are many chuckles to be had from the character named Waffles, whose bad facial complexion is the source of his nickname.

Compared to "Uncle Vanya," "The Wood Demon" is a mere trifle. But it does prove that suicide is never easy, and can sometimes be quite funny.

I haven't seen the BBC version noted here, but I found the BAM production to be quite satisfactory. "The Wood Demon" is a must for Chekhov completest.

If you have the opportunity, seek this out for an enjoyable, though shallow, experience.


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