Sheridan Smith and Mathew Horne to star in Sky Arts Chekhov celebration

Sky Arts is to mark the 150th anniversary of Chekhov’s birth by broadcasting four of his one act plays, with Sheridan Smith, Mathew Horne and Steve Coogan lined up to appear in them.

The four plays are The Proposal, which will star Horne and Smith, The Dangers of Tobacco, featuring Coogan, The Bear, starring Julia Davis, and A Reluctant Tragic Hero, which will feature Johnny Vegas and Mackenzie Crook.

They will be broadcast this November.

James Hunt, Sky Arts head of programming, said “Following the huge critical success of our award winning Theatre Live! and Playhouse Live seasons we know there is a huge appetite for great plays, stunningly performed and beautifully produced. The stars we have signed for this Chekhov season, in the safe hands of a multi-award winning production team, is a testament to that ambition and shows just how committed we are at Sky Arts to ensuring great theatre thrives on television.”

The plays are being directed by Chris Gernon, whose credits include Gavin and Stacey, and produced by Coogan’s Baby Cow Productions.

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster