Cherry Orchard: A Comedy in Four Actsby Anton Chekhov
Set in late-19th-century Russia, Chekhov's commentary on class struggle and the clash of the old and new orders takes the form of a domestic dispute over an inherited cherry grove. Madame Ravensky and her brother Gayev own the orchard in question. The once-aristocratic family faces mounting debts, yet they are incapable of changing their extravagant ways. Meanwhile, Russia's future and the economic systems of capitalism and communism are being debated. Anton Chekhov's last play, a timeless comedy-drama, evokes loss, longing, and the relentless passing of time.
Frayn's translation, which strikes me as splendidly lucid and alive…will be acted again and again
Meet the Author
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) first turned to writing as a medical student at Moscow University, from which he graduated in 1884. Among his early plays were short monologues (The Evils of Tobacco, 1885), one-act farces such as The Bear, The Proposal and The Wedding (1888-89) and the 'Platonov' material, adapted by Michael Frayn as Wild Honey. The first three full-length plays to be stage, Ivanov (1887), The Wood Demon (1889) and The Seagull (1896) were initially failures. But the Moscow Arts Theatre's revival of The Seagull two years later was successful and was followed by his masterpieces, Uncle Vanya (1889), Three Sisters (1901), and The Cherry Orchard in 1904, the year of his death.
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'The Cherry Orchard' is a sad play written by Anton Chekhov. It is about an upper-class, Russian family with an estate surrounded by beautiful cherry trees. Because of financial debts the estate is auctioned, and the buyer cuts down all the cherry trees. The family leaves without being able to save their beloved orchard or their memories. This play is disappointing because there is no happy ending. The author is successful in creating the relationships that he does, but the play should be about what it takes to save the orchard that the characters love not loosing it all and having to let go of all their most cherished memories. The painful theme is that letting go of the past is hard.
No one in this play things logically or rationally, the play had nothing to do with the Cherry Orchard. Three main points endentured servitude is wrong, some people never learn, and women in Russia were treated as objects. Portraial of charaters was rather shallow and quite bland. The attachment and relationship between reader and character(s) was virtually nonexistant as one character or another mindlessly shouted a random comment about nothing.