Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Cherry Orchard | Sherman Theatre

Rehearsal Image
Playwright Gary Owen has returned to the Sherman Theatre with a re-imagining of Chekhov's classic play, The Cherry Orchard (now set in Pembrokeshire in 1982). Before my visit, I knew of the original piece but was not particularly familiar with it so, to me, it was like a completely new play. Overall I found it to be a highly thought-provoking production about class, family and relationships that had a lot of heart at it's core.

The small cast had no weak links, with each character being entirely believable and unique. Denise Black as mother Rainey was fierce from her first entrance to her final moments on stage, with every emotional change and witty comment being perfectly timed whilst feeling so natural. Alexandria Riley as Dottie was another favourite, bringing comedy throughout but with some wonderfully unexpected tender moments. What I loved about the whole performance was the likeability of all the characters: as an audience member, you can see that all the characters have flaws and say and do things that you don't like but you can't help but root for them all in some way - in that way it felt very real.

The show itself perfectly balanced comedy with poignancy, making us laugh but also making us think. Despite being set in the 1980s (with the original set in Russia at the turn of the 20th century), it made me question issues of class that are still relevant today, as well as getting me thinking about the nature of grief and the clutter of family life. I left the theatre reminded of just why I love it so much, feeling so many things at once and with a huge grin on my face. This production is certainly testament to the current discussion regarding regional theatre, as this is one that I think would be worth travelling for.

I was sceptical about how Artistic Director Rachel O'Riordan and Gary Owen would top their previous work at the Sherman, Killology (review here), but for me this is certainly on par with that and I would really recommend checking it out if you can - although it has been selling very well so be quick booking your seats!  For tickets and more details head to the Sherman Theatre website.

No comments

Post a Comment

© Olivia Loves Theatre | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig