Cherry orchard in bloom in London
London`s National Theater has embarked on a century-long story of interweaving of social changes and personal drama. British director Howard Davies is trying his hand on "The Cherry Orchard" by the great Russian playwright Anton Chekhov.
ґWritten at the very start of the 20th century and set in Imperial Russia on the verge of the Russian Revolution of 1905, it touches upon the matters relevant to the time of change, instability and changing values.
A Russian aristocrat returns to Russia after five years of living abroad to discover that her grand family estate and "beloved cherry orchard" has to be put up for auction in order to pay the family`s debts. The issues of the inability to react to the new way of life, the dramatic changing of the ruling class and the nature of the passage of time has made The Cherry Orchard one of the most striking examples of the Russian literature of the early 20th century.
The debut of The Cherry Orchard by the Moscow Art Theater in 1904 was a resounding success and just the beginning of the long route, which saw the play staged by leading directors in major theaters around the world.
Staging of the Cherry Orchard became an important milestone in the work of Andrey Serban, Peter Hall, Peter Brook and many other directors. Each of them has approached it in a different way, which is not surprising: even at the time of its creation there was an argument concerning its genre. Prominent playwright and the author of the play Chekhov saw it as comedy, while its first director and outstanding Russian theater theorist Konstantin Stanislavsky considered it a tragedy.
The result of Howard Davies`s vision will be on stage of the National Theatre in London through July on selected dates.
The Cherry Orchard will be broadcast to cinemas worldwide on 30 June.