Coogan does Chekhov

with Johnny Vegas, Julian Barratt and more

Steve Coogan, Johnny Vegas, Julian Barratt and Mat Horne are to film a series of Anton Chekhov plays to mark the 150th anniversary of the Russian playwright’s birth.

Coogan will star in On The Harmful Effects Of Tobacco, playing a hen-pecked smoker persuaded by his nagging wife to give a lecture on the topic, but instead spends the time complaining about his marriage.

Vegas will appear alongside The Office star Mackenzie Crook in A Reluctant Tragic Hero, about a man whose attempts to spend a relaxing summer in the country is ruined by demands to run errands in the city.

Meanwhile, Gavin & Stacey's Mat Horne will take the lead as a hypochondriac trying to woo his neighbour’s daughter in The Proposal, while The Mighty Boosh’s Barratt will star opposite his wife, Nighty Night’s Julia Davis, in The Bear.

The series of one-act comedies and farces, which will be screened on Sky Arts later this year, are being made by Baby Cow Productions. The company’s managing director Henry Normal told The Independent: ‘[The plays] work in the present day because they are about attitude, manners and hypocrisy.’

Baby Cow – which is co-owned by Coogan – is also pitching a TV version of Oscar Wilde’s A Woman Of No Importance, with the Alan Partridge star playing the lead role of Lord Illingworth.

Published: 8 Jul 2010

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