Steve Coogan to film one act Chekhov plays with fellow comedians

Alan Partridge star pays tribute to Russian playwright

Steve Coogan will be joined by a host of top UK comedians to film a series of Anton Chekov plays to mark the 150th anniversary of the Russian playwright’s death.

Coogan, known for characters including Alan Partridge, will star in On The Harmful Effects Of Tobacco, published in 1886, playing henpecked husband Ivan Ivanovich Nyukhin, reports The Independent.

Johnny Vegas will appear alongside The Office star Mackenzie Crook in A Reluctant Tragic Hero, while Gavin And Stacey‘s Mat Horne stars as a hypochondriac trying to woo his neighbour’s daughter in The Proposal.

The Mighty Boosh star Julian Barratt will appear in The Bear opposite wife Julia Davis.

The series of one act plays will be screened on Sky Arts and filmed by Coogan’s production company Baby Cow.

“Every so often I have a look at what anniversaries are coming up and seeing if there’s anything we should be looking at,” said the company’s managing director Henry Normal. “I bought a box set of when they last did Chekhov, on the 100th anniversary. I read that he had a few one act plays that were comedies and a couple of have never been done. So I got the books and read them and they work in the present day because they are about attitude, manners and hypocrisy.”

Coogan has a number of projects in development and is set to star in a six-part comedy series opposite Rob Brydon for BBC2 in September, directed by Michael Winterbottom, while it has recently announced news on the long-awaited Alan Partridge film now has a plot and is set to go into production.