Friday, 3 April 2009

The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard was written by Anton Chekhov who was born in 1860, in Tanganrog. Chekhov was very well known worldwide as he was very successful with his plays. Anton Chekhov died only six months after the Cherry Orchard was written and he was a great play writer. I went to see The Cherry Orchard on Saturday 4th October 2008 at the Kenneth More Theatre.

Even though the plot in The Cherry Orchard is fairly straight forward and the production was amateurish, the spirit of the play was captured beautifully. I found the use of Chekhov’s language revolutionary and exciting. The characters within the play are varied and all have their own unique status and position.

The plot is about an aristocratic Russian woman who returns to her estate. Just before she returns however she soon realises that the estate is up for auction to pay for the mortgage. The Cherry Orchard eventually ends up being sold as the family are left in tears. The Cherry Orchard was sentimental and especially for Ranyevskaya and her daughters Anya who is 17 years old. They return to find out the news as they are shocked and worried. The Cherry Orchard in the ends up being sold which upsets the whole family. It represents the downfall of the aristocratic way of living as the communist people were starting to take over.

The plot is a demonstration of dramatic changes and circumstances at the beginning of the 20th Century. Chekhov demonstrates a very powerful perception of events that captured its time in a symbolic manner. The society and the people’s lives were changing into a way which suited Russian communists and their ambitions. Socialist intellectuals were becoming more powerful which is portrayed by Trofimov, a student character in The Cherry Orchard. The artistic qualities in The Cherry Orchard make it a really powerful and alerting play that is excellently constructed and made.

The Cherry Orchard demonstrates the destruction from people and how elements such as love, art and culture can be easily destroyed. Subtleties within people are easily crushed by more dominant and forceful means.

Even though there weren’t many people in the theatre the play was intriguing and very entertaining. It was eye opening and brilliantly crafted.

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