Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ripe for Plucking: The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov at The Rose Theatre, Kingston

Chekhov's portrait of a family in decline can make for tedious staging, but this productions injects a bit of comedy into the melange of languid characters waiting for something to happen.

When Madame Raneskaya comes back from Paris she exudes wealth and scatters rubles, but her estate's on the edge of collapse, as she's informed by  her hired business adviser, Lopakhin. Having risen from the ranks by his bootstraps one suspects he's less than sympathetic . But nobody in this dysfunctional family does anything quickly. The time when the harvest from the prodigious cherry orchard supported the family, their servants and a raft of hangers-on is past. Now the developers gather like vultures before the start of the  inevitable land auction.

Too bad the family will be forced to carry on their lives of relative leisure elsewhere, some more galvanised than others by historical changes. But it's the class they've hardly noticed and who've sustained their  existence who suffer most. 

Here's my review on The Public Reviews Website

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