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The funny thing is the harder I work the more clearly I understand things. When I'm worn out after a day's work then it's like my brain relaxes. And sometimes then I get it. The meaning of my life. My purpose on this earth. How many people ever get to say that? And you know what? It doesn't matter. Doesn't change anything. It is not important.
In Chekhov's tragi-comedy - arguably his most popular play - the Gayev family is torn by powerful forces deeply rooted in history and the society in which they live. Their estate is hopelessly in debt. Urged to cut down their beautiful cherry orchard and sell the land for holiday cottages, the family struggles to act decisively.
Vigorous and profound, this new version of Chekhov's classic play by Olivier award-winner Simon Stephens, from a literal translation by Helen Rappaport, is an anguished and heartbreaking love letter to a society in violent transition. It received its world premiere at the Young Vic, London, on 10 October 2014.
About the Author
Simon Stephens began his theatrical career in the literary department of the Royal Court Theatre, where he ran its Young Writers' Programme. His plays for theatre include Bluebird; Herons; Port; One Minute; Christmas; Country Music; On the Shore of the Wide World; Motortown; Pornography; Harper Regan; Sea Wall; Heaven; Punk Rock; The Trial of Ubu; A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with David Eldridge and Robert Holman); Marine Parade (co-written with Mark Eitzel); T5; Wastwater; Morning; an adaptation of A Doll's House; an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Birdland and Blindsided. His radio plays include Five Letters Home to Elizabeth and Digging. His screenwriting includes an adaptation of Motortown; the two-part serial Dive (with Dominic Savage) and a short film adaptation of Pornography. Awards include the Pearson Award for Best New Play, 2001, for Port; Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World, 2005; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute's annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright, 2007.