The Cherry Orchard is considered by many to be the magnum opus of Anton Chekhov, a Russian playwright and author whose international popularity is second only to Leo Tolstoy. The four act play is a thoughtful commentary on capitalism, communism and social class.
Set in Russia at the turn of the twentieth century, the characters and events of The Cherry Orchard are a microcosm of Russian politics at the time, when the rise of the middle class in the mid nineteenth century led to the decline of the aristocracy. In this play, the aristocracy struggle to maintain their position while the former serfs and servants rise to victory.
The Cherry Orchard is set in the ancestral estate of Luba Ranevskya, a Russian noblewoman living in self-exile in Paris. Madame Ranevskya returns to Russian when she learns that the estate, including the eponymous cherry orchard, is to be auctioned to pay the mortgage. She is joined by various family members and employees, who endeavour to prevent the sale of the property.
Interestingly, Chekhov wrote The Cherry Orchard as a comedy but most directors chose to stage it as a tragedy. It is up to the audience to decide if the play is defined by the comic eccentricities of the characters or the tragic futility of the situation.
Heart Beast theatre ensemble will produce an adaptation of The Cherry Orchard from 13 until 22 May. The performance will show at Trinity Hall (Church Street, Fortitude Valley). Tickets are $30.00 per adult and $22.00 for concession holders and can be purchased online ($2.00 booking fee applies).