Celebrated Russian playwright and short-story writer Anton Chekhov would be 150 years old this year, and Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder) wants to celebrate, reports The Independent. The British actor/comedian and a troupe of BBC favorites like Johnny Vegas (Ideal), Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) and Mat Horne (Gavin & Stacey) will appear in made-for-television versions of a series of Checkov’s one-act plays.
Coogan will star in the one man show, On The Harmful Effects Of Tobacco, as Ivan Ivanovich Nyukhin, a smoker whose wife nags him into publicly lecturing on the dangers of his habit. Mackenzie Crook (The Office) will join Vegas to make up the two-person cast of A Reluctant Tragic Hero; Horne will play a young man pursuing romance in The Proposal, and Barratt with real-world wife Julia Davis (Nighty Night) will take on The Bear.
Baby Cow Productions (co-owned by Coogan) is filming the series, which will screen on Sky Arts sometime later this year.