On Our Shelves Now
Hear what I have to say about the cherry orchard, because it is mine. I say bring it down, tear it down. Smash it down and tear it down. Watch, watch. Just you watch. I will build holiday villas, as far as the eye can see. I will build a place for everyone to come and enjoy. For the future. And this will be the future. A new life. A new way of life. Here! Come now and play. Play. Play! Get the band to play.
Ranyevskaya returns more or less bankrupt after ten years abroad. Luxuriating in her fading moneyed world and regardless of the increasingly hostile forces outside, she and her brother snub the lucrative scheme of Lopakhin, a peasant turned entrepreneur, to save the family estate. In so doing, they put up their lives to auction and seal the fate of the beloved orchard.
Set at the very start of the twentieth century, The Cherry Orchard captures a poignant moment in Russia's history as the country rolls inexorably towards 1917. The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov in a version by Andrew Upton, premiered at the National Theatre, London, in May 2011.
About the Author
Anton Chekhov, Russian dramatist and short-story writer, was born in 1860, the son of a grocer and the grandson of a serf. After graduating in medicine from Moscow University in 1884, he began to make his name in the theatre with the one-act comedies The Bear, The Proposal and The Wedding. His earliest full-length plays, Ivanov (1887) and The Wood Demon (1889), were not successful, and The Seagull, produced in 1896, was a failure until a triumphant revival by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898. This was followed by Uncle Vanya (1899), Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard (1904), shortly after the production of which Chekhov died. The first English translations of his plays were performed within five years of his death.