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A production leaving you with a strong aftershock
The Cherry Orchard was the last play written by Anton Chekhov in 1903, and it was adapted and directed by Victor Kalka, with this version re-framing the story through a 2019 sensibility, blowing the cobwebs off the comedy.
Heartbroken and bankrupt, Lyubov Andreyevna (Suzann James) returns back to Russia to her beloved cherry orchard family farm (the finest in the district) only to find that it is on the verge of financial ruin. She is offered an easy way out; sell the estate and live comfortably on the profits...question is, can she let go of the past to secure a future for her and her family?
Time is running out, and everyone in the family is stuck in arrested development, refusing to face reality. We are presented with moments of passion, triangles and dreams being slipped away over the horizon.
The cast Lyubov Andreyevna (Suzann James), Charlotta (Laurel McGowen), Trofimov (Martin Quinn), Dunyasha (Alannah Robertson), Gaev (Martin Bell), Firs (Garreth Cruikshank), Varya (Dominique de Marco), Lopakhin (Zacharie di Ferninando), Pishchik (Craig James), Yepikhodov (Benjamin Tarlinton), Anya (Caitlin Williams) and Yasha (Harley Wilson) did a marvellous performance showcasing their characters and every role with brilliance, lightness, emotion and humour.
Throughout the play, it was not hard to notice the sadness at the core of the play that danced around until it was impossible to ignore, hinted by the matriarch Lyubov's sudden scares.
Complexity at work in the characters was explored by the cast with finesse and truthfulness and they all achieved performance success.
There was no weak link in this play: every performance showcased its moment of rawness as well as moments of emotional nakedness, reflecting Chekhov's refusal to condemn any of the characters he created.
The Cherry Orchard is a production which leaves you with a strong aftershock, as tragedy rises cumulatively through its comic surface. It reaches its emotional peaks and is an elegant and simple frame which the action of Chekhov's play is boldly brought to life.
Chekhov 's masterful tragicomedy presented rich observation of human nature as well as a powerful study of our relationship to time and place.