One of the foremost Chekhov interpreters of our times, Hungarian Tamás Ascher's Ivanov attracted packed houses and earned rave reviews at the 2009 Lincoln Center Festival, following a worldwide tour from Bogotá to Moscow, where it was awarded the Golden Mask Award for the best international production of the year. According to the New York Times' Jason Zinoman "(his) magnificent revival of Ivanov proves that, done properly, Chekhov shows it all, the ridiculous and the solemn, the soulful and the sexy, the discreet and, occasionally, the naked." It was following the short run of the same production for the Katona József Theatre at the Sydney Festival that STC invited the 60-year-old director to stage his first Uncle Vanya – one of the two full-length Chekhov plays he had not yet directed – in Australia. With Sydney Theatre Company's stellar cast this production was received with great enthusiasm by both critics and audiences, to quote the country's leading daily, the Australian: "Tamás Ascher's superb production of Uncle Vanya. is gloriously fresh, funny and poignant.