- The Cherry Orchard
"The Cherry Orchard" (Вишнëвый сад or "Vishniovy sad" in Russian) is
Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedyand it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play.
The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known
cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. While presented with options to save the estate, the family essentially does nothing and the play ends with the estate being sold and the family leaving to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down. The story presents themes of cultural futility — both the futility of the aristocracy to maintain its status and the futility of the bourgeoisieto find meaning in its new found materialism. In reflecting the socio-economic forces at work in Russia at the turn of the 20th century, including the rise of the middle classafter the abolition of serfdomin the mid-19th century and the sinking of the aristocracy, the play reflects forces at work around the globe in that period but does not represent the true feeling of many aristocrats at the time.
Since the first production at the Moscow Art Theatre, this play has been translated into many languages and produced around the world, becoming a classic work of dramatic literature. Some of the major directors in the West have directed this play, each interpreting the work differently. Some of these directors include
Charles Laughton, Peter Brook, Andrei Serban, Eva Le Gallienne, Jean-Louis Barrault, Tyrone Guthrieand Giorgio Strehler. The play's influence has also been widely felt in dramatic works by many including Eugene O'Neill, George Bernard Shawand Arthur Miller.
There were several experiences in Chekhov's own life that are said to have directly inspired his writing of "The Cherry Orchard". When Chekhov was sixteen, his mother went into debt after having been cheated by some builders she had hired to construct a small house. A former lodger, Gabriel Selivanov, offered to help her financially, but in turn secretly bought the house for himself. At approximately the same time, his childhood home in
Taganrogwas sold to pay off its mortgage. These financial and domestic upheavals imprinted themselves on his memory greatly and would reappear in the action of "The Cherry Orchard".
Later in his life, living on a country estate outside
Moscow, Chekhov developed an interest in gardening and planted his own cherry orchard. After relocating to Yaltadue to his poor health, Chekhov was devastated to learn that the buyer of his former estate had cut down most of the orchard. Returning on one trip to his childhood haunts in Taganrog, he was further horrified by the devastating effects of industrial deforestation. It was in those woodlands and the forests of his holidays in the Ukrainethat he had first nurtured his ecological passion (this passion is reflected in the character of Dr. Astrov, whose love of the forests is his only peace, in his earlier play Uncle Vanya.). A lovely and locally famous cherry orchard stood on the farm of family friends where he spent childhood vacations, and in his early short story "Steppe," Chekhov depicts a young boy crossing the Ukraineamidst fields of cherry blossoms. Finally, the first inklings of the genesis for the play that would be his last came in a terse notebook entry of 1897: "cherry orchard." Today, Chekhov's Yaltagarden survives alongside "The Cherry Orchard" as a monument to a man whose feeling for trees equaled his feeling for theatre. Indeed, trees are often unspoken, symbolic heroes and victims of his stories and plays; so much so that Chekhov is often singled out as Europe's first ecological author.
Chekhov wrote "The Cherry Orchard" during the course of several years, alternating between periods of lighthearted giddiness and despondent frustration which he considered as bordering upon sloth (in a letter he wrote, "Every sentence I write strikes me as good for nothing.") Throughout this time he was also further inhibited by his chronic tuberculosis. Guarded by nature, Chekhov seemed overly secretive about all facets of the work, including even the title. As late as the Summer of 1902 he still had not shared anything about the play with anyone in his immediate family or the Art Theatre. It was only to comfort his wife
Olga Knipper, who was recovering from a miscarriage, that he finally let her in on the play's title, whispering it to her despite the fact that the two were alone. Chekhov was apparently delighted with the very sound of the title, and enjoyed the same sense of triumph months later when he finally revealed it to Stanislavski. By October of 1903 the play was finished and sent to the Moscow Art Theater. Three weeks later Chekhov arrived at rehearsals in what would be a vain attempt to curb all the "weepiness" of the production which Stanislavskihad directed. The author apparently also snickered when, during rehearsals, the word "orchard" was substituted with the more practical "plantation," feeling he had perfectly and symbolically captured the impracticality of an entire way of life.
Although critics, Mainly Robert Warman at the time were divided in their response to the play, the debut of "The Cherry Orchard" by the
Moscow Art Theateron January 17, 1904(Chekhov's birthday) was a resounding theatrical success and the play was almost immediately presented in many of the important provincial cities. This success was not confined only to Russia, as the play was soon seen abroad with great acclaim as well. Shortly after the play's debut, Chekhov departed for Germany due to his worsening health, and by July 1904 he would be dead.
*Note on characters"Characters' names are entirely dependent on the transliteration."
* Madame Lyubov Andreievna Ranevskaya - a landowner"Ranyevskaya is the linchpin around which the characters revolve. A commanding and popular figure, she represents the pride of the old aristocracy, now fallen on hard times. Her confused feelings of love for her old home, and sorrow at the scene of her son's death, give her an emotional depth that keeps her from devolving into a mere aristocratic grotesque. Most of her humor comes from her inability to understand financial or business matters."
* Anya - her daughter, aged 17"Just 17, she undertakes the journey to Paris to rescue her mother from her desperate situation. She is that rare character, a truly virtuous, strong, young female. She is in love with Trofimov, and listens to his revolutionary ideas, whether she is actually taking them in or not."
* Varya - her adopted daughter, aged 24"Varya creates one of the mysteries of the play: why did Ranyevskaya adopt her? Is she the illegitimate child of her late husband? Is she the bastard daughter of Gayev? Varya is deeply religious, and very serious, as well as being very controlling towards other characters. She has a troubled relationship with Lopakhin, to whom she is romantically linked, but of whom she disapproves."
* Leonid Andreieveitch Gayev - brother of Madame Ranevskaya"One of the more obviously comic characters, Gayev is a talkative eccentric. His addiction to billiards (often manifesting itself at times of discomfort) is symbolic of the aristocracy's decadent life of leisure, which renders them impotent in the face of change. Gayev tries hard to save his family and estate, but ultimately, as an aristocrat, lacks the drive."
* Yermolai Alexeievitch Lopakhin - a merchant"Lopakhin is by far the richest character in the play, but comes from the lowest social class. This contrast defines his character: he is enjoying living the high life, but at the same time is uncomfortably conscious of his low beginnings and obsession with business. Often portrayed as an unpleasant character because of his greedy tendencies, and ultimate betrayal of the Gayev family, there is nothing in the play to suggest this: he works strenuously to help the Gayevs, but to no avail. Lopakhin represents the new middle class in Russia, one of many threats to the old aristocratic way of doing things."
* Peter Trofimov - a student"Trofimov, Anya's love interest, is depicted as the "eternal" (or in some translations "wandering") student. An impassioned left-wing political commentator, he represents the rising tide of reformist political opinion in Russia, which struggled to find its place within the authoritarian Czarist autocracy."
* Boris Borisovich Simeonov-Pishchik - a landowner"Another old aristocrat, whose own estate has hit hard times. He is constantly discussing new business ventures that may save him, or badgering Ranyevskaya for a loan. His character embodies the irony of the aristocracy's position: despite his financial peril, he spends the play relaxing and socializing with the Gayevs."
* Charlotta Ivanovna - a governess"By far the most eccentric character, Charlotta is the only governess the Gayevs could afford to provide a companion for Anya. She is a melancholy figure, raised in by a German woman without any real knowledge of whom her Circus Entertainer parents were. She performs card tricks and ventriloquism at the party in the third act, and accepts the loss of her station, when the family disbands, with pragmatism."
* Yepikhodov - a clerk"The Gayev's estate clerk is also another source of comedy. He is unfortunate and clumsy in the extreme, earning him an insulting nickname of "Twenty-Two Calamities" (This nickname varies according to the translation). He considers himself to be in love with Dunyasha, whom he has asked to marry him."
* Dunyasha - a housemaid"Like Lopakhin, she is another example of the social mobility in Russia at the time. A peasant who is employed as the Gayev's chambermaid, Dunyasha is an attention seeker, making big scenes, and dressing as a lady, to show herself off. She is in some respects representative of the aristocracy's impotence, as a lowly chambermaid would not normally have the freedom to dress like a lady and flirt with the manservants. She is in love with Yasha."
* Firs - a manservant, aged 87"An aging eccentric, Firs considers the emancipation of the Russian serfs to be a disaster, and talks nostalgically of the old days, when everybody admired their masters and owners, such as Gayev's parents and grandparents. His madness and harmlessness are a source of much of the play's poignancy, symbolizing the decay of the old order into muttering madness."
* Yasha - a young manservant"The play's only truly unpleasant character, Yasha represents the new, disaffected Russian generation, who dislike the staid old ways, and who provide the foot soldiers of the revolution. A rude, inconsiderate and predatory young man who wears cheap cologne, Yasha, like Dunyasha and Charlotta, is the best the Gayevs can afford. He is in conflict with Yepikhodov for the affections of Dunyasha, whose affections he toys with."
* A Stranger"A passer-by who interrupts and insults the Gayevs as they laze around on the Gayevs' estate during Act II. He is symbolic of the intrusion of new ideologies and social movements that infringed on the aristocracy's peace in Russia at the turn of the 20th century."
* The Stationmaster and The Postmaster"Both officials attend the Gayevs' party in Act III. Although they both play minor roles in the act (the Stationmaster attempts to recite a poem, and the Postmaster flirts with Dunyasha), they are mostly symbols of the deprecation of the aristocracy in 1900s Russia - Firs comments that, whereas once they had barons and lords at the ball, now it's the postman and the stationmaster, and even they come only to be polite."
* Guests, servants, etc.
Act I opens in the early morning hours of a day in May in the nursery of Madame Ranevskaya's ancestral estate somewhere in the provinces of Russia just after the turn of the 20th Century. Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya returns to her country house with her 17-year old daughter Anya and her German
governessCharlotta Ivanovna , as well as her valet, Yasha, from Pariswhere they have been living for the past five years. The trio is met by Varya, Mme. Ranevskaya's adopted daughter who has overseen the estate in her absence; Yermolai Alexeevich Lopakhin, a local merchantand family friend; Leonid Andreevich Gayev, Mme. Ranevskaya's brother; as well as members of the household staff including Dunyasha, the chambermaid who behaves like a refined lady; Seymon Epikhodov a clumsy clerk in the Ranevskaya household who has proposed to Dunyasha; and the aged footman, Firs, who was once a serf to the Ranevskaya family and who, after the emancipation of the serfsin 1861, remained in their service for lack of a better opportunity for work. Dunyasha becomes smitten with the cultured Yasha, who steals a kiss from her while the two are alone.
Mme. Ranevskaya is reminded that the estate will be auctioned in August to pay the estate's mortgage. Lopakhin offers a plan to save the orchard if only she will allow part of the estate to be developed into summer
cottages. However, this will incur the destruction of the famous cherry orchardwhich Mme. Ranevskaya states is nationally known. It is clear that the orchard has become to her a symbol of her youth and childhood. Other solutions to the debt are also proposed but nothing is resolved and the conversation is diverted to other topics. While Ranevskaya enjoys the view of the orchard as day breaks, she is surprised by Petya Trofimov, a young student who acted as tutor to Ranevskaya's son, Grisha. We learn that Grisha drowned five years prior to the beginning of the play, and that this was a contributing factor to Ranevskaya's fleeing Russia and her home. Ranevskaya is grief-stricken at the reminder of this tragedy, despite Trofimov's insistence on seeing her upon her return (much to the consternation of Varya.)
After Ranevskaya retires for the evening, Anya confesses to Varya that their mother is heavily in debt and their uncle Gayev suggests sending Anya to Yaroslav where their great aunt lives in the hopes that she will lend them the money to save the estate. Gayev also reminds Varya that Lophakin is a wealthy man and has always been enamoured of her, and that a marriage with him would ensure the family's survival. They all go to bed with a renewed hope that the estate will be saved and the cherry orchard not cut down. Trofimov stares after the departing Anya and mutters "My Joy. My Sunshine" in adoration.
Act II opens on a road bordering the cherry orchard in mid-summer. The estate is still in jeopardy but the family seems more concerned with courtships. Yasha and Yepikhodov are each attempting to attract the attentions of Dunyasha. The young Anya has fallen in love with Trofimov, infuriating Varya, who herself has become the subject of rumors that she will be engaged to Lopakhin. Lopakhin tries to steer the conversation towards the business of the estate but Mme. Ranevskaya reveals the sad truth about her finances and her relationship with a man in Paris who cruelly took advantage of her money and feelings. The old footman Firs speaks of the past on the estate before the
emancipation of the serfs. The sound of a Jewish band is heard in the distance and Ranevskaya decides to hold a party and invite them to play. When Trofimov appears, Lopakhin teases the boy for his being a perpetual student and Trofimov espouses his philosophy of work and useful purpose to the delight and humor of everyone around. During their conversations, a disheveled vagrant passes by and begs for money; Ranevskaya thoughtlessly gives him all of her money, despite the protestations of Varya. Shaken by the disturbance, the family departs for dinner, with Lopakhin futilely insisting that the cherry orchard be sold to pay down the debt. Anya stays behind to talk with Trofimov, who disapproves of Varya's constant hawk-like eyes, reassuring Anya that they are "above love." To impress Trofimov and win his affection, Anya vows to leave the past behind her and start life anew. The two depart for the river as Varya calls scoldingly in the background.
Several months have passed, and the evening of Ranevskaya's party has come. Offstage the musicians play as the family and their guests drink, carouse and entertain themselves. It is also the day of the auction for the estate and the cherry orchard; Gayev has received a paltry amount of money from his and Ranevskaya's stingy aunt in Yaroslav, and the family members, despite the general merriment about them, are both anxious and distracted while they wait for word of their fates. Varya worries about paying the musicians and scolds Trofimov and their neighbor Pischik for drinking, Dunyasha for dancing and Epikhodov for playing billiards. Charlotta entertains the group by performing several magic tricks. Ranevskaya scolds Trofimov for his constant teasing of Varya, whom he refers to as "Madame Lopakhin." She then urges Varya to marry Lopakhin, but Varya demurs, reminding her that it is Lopakhin's duty to ask for her hand in marriage, not the other way around. She says that if she had money she would move as far away from him as possible. Left alone with Ranevskaya, Trofimov insists that she finally face the truth that the house and the cherry orchard will be sold at auction. Ranevskaya shows him a telegram she has received from Paris and reveals that her former lover is ill again and has begged for her to return to his aid. She also reveals that she is seriously considering joining him, despite his cruel behavior to her in the past. Trofimov is stunned at this news and the two argue about the nature of love and their respective experiences. Trofimov leaves in a huff but offstage falls down the stairs and is carried in by the others. Ranevskaya laughs and forgives him for his folly and the two quickly reconcile. Anya enters declaring a rumour that the cherry orchard has been sold. Lopakhin arrives with Gayev, both of whom are exhausted from the trip and the day's events. Gayev is distant, virtually catatonic and goes to bed without saying a word of the outcome of the auction. When Ranevskaya asks who bought the estate, Lopakhin reveals that he himself has purchased it in order to save the family. Varya, enraged, hurls the keys to the estate on the floor, and Lopakhin, half-drunk and smug, tells how he outbid everyone and gleefully (and angrily) celebrates his victory. Ranevskaya, distraught, clings to Anya, who tries to calm her and reassure her that the future will be better now that the cherry orchard has been sold.
It is several weeks later, once again in the nursery (as in Act I), only this time the room is being packed and taken apart as the family prepares to leave the estate forever. Lopakhin arrives with champagne as a going-away present but Ranevskaya snubs him - despite his best intentions for the family he loves, she views him as a destroyer of her youth and happiness. Trofimov enters in search of his galoshes, and he and Lopakhin exchange opposing world views. Anya enters and reprimands Lopakhin for ordering his workers to begin chopping down the cherry orchard while the family is still in the house. Lopakhin apologizes and rushes out to stop them for the time being in the hopes that he will be somehow reconciled with them. Anya also inquires about Firs' health and Yasha informs her that he has been taken to a hospital that morning. Dunyasha enters and begs Yasha for some sort of affectionate parting; Yasha for his part wants nothing to do with her or his old life, as he hungers to return to Paris and to live in style. Charlotta enters, lost and in a daze, and insists that the family find her a new position. Gayev and Ranevskaya return to say goodbye to the room where they grew up and spent their childhood. Gayev gaily announces that he has a job at the local bank, and Raneskaya reveals that she is indeed returning to Paris to be with her former lover. She also scolds Lopakhin for not yet asking Varya to marry him. Lopakhin concedes to do so, and the rest withdraw to give the two some privacy. When Varya enters (knowing that he will propose to her), Lopakhin and she converse about the weather and various mundane subjects, both trying to find a way to reveal their feelings. One of the workers calls for Lopakhin and he exits hastily without asking Varya to marry him. Varya is devastated and Ranevskaya comforts her when she returns. The family and their servants all gather to say their respective goodbyes to the estate and the cherry orchard, one by one departing for their new lives. Ranevskaya tearfully bids her old life goodbye and leaves as the house is shut up forever. In the darkness Firs wanders into the room and discovers that they have left without him and boarded him inside the abandoned house to die. He lies down on the couch and resigns himself to his fate, as offstage we hear the axes as they cut down the cherry orchard.
One of the main themes of the play is the effect
social changehas on people. The emancipation of the serfson 19 February, 1861by Alexander II allowed former serfs to gain wealth and status while some aristocrats were becoming impoverished, unable to tend their estates without the cheap labor of slavery. The effect of these reforms were still being felt when Chekhov was writing forty years after the mass emancipation. [A general overview of these themes, among others, can be found in: Jean-Pierre Barricelli, ed., "Chekhov’s Great Plays: A Critical Anthology" (New York, 1981), Richard Peace, "Chekhov: A Study of the Four Major Plays" (New Haven, 1983), Donald Rayfield, "Understanding Chekhov: A Critical Study of Chekhov’s Prose and Drama" (Madison, 1999).]
Chekhov originally intended the play as a comedy (indeed, the title page of the work refers to it as such), and in letters noted that it is even more like a farce. When he saw the original
Moscow Art Theatreproduction directed by Constantin Stanislavski, he was horrified to find that the director had molded the play into a tragedy. Ever since that time, productions have had to struggle with this dual nature of the play (and of Chekhov's works in general.)
Ranevskaya's failure to address problems facing her estate and family mean that she eventually loses almost everything and her fate can be seen as a criticism of those people who are unwilling to adapt to the new Russia. Her petulant refusal to accept the truth of her past, in both life and love, is her downfall throughout the play. She ultimately runs between her life in Paris and in Russia (she arrives from Paris at the start of the play and returns there afterwards). She is a woman who lives in an illusion of the past (often reliving memories about her sons death, etc). The speeches by the student Trofimov, attacking intellectuals were later seen as early manifestations of
Bolshevikideas and his lines were often censored by the Czarist officials. Cherrytrees themselves are often seen as symbols of sadness or regret at the passing away of a certain situation or of the times in general.
The theme of identity, and the subversion of expectations of such, is one that can be seen in "The Cherry Orchard"; indeed, the cast itself can be divided up into three distinct parts: the Gayev family (Ranevskaya, Gayev, Anya and Varya), family friends (Lopakhin, Pishchik and Trofimov), and the "servant class" (Firs, Yasha, Dunyasha, Charlotta and Yepikhodov), the irony being that some of them clearly act out of place - think of Varya, the adopted daughter of an aristocrat, effectively being a housekeeper; Trofimov, the thinking student, being thrown out of university; Yasha considering himself part of the Parisian cultural élite; and both the Ranevskayas and Pishchik running low on money while Lopakhin, born a peasant, is practically a millionaire.
Another idea, while the
Marxistview of the play is certainly more popular, is that "The Cherry Orchard" was Chekhov's last hurrah; a tribute to himself if you will. Many of the characters in the play hearken back to his earlier works and are based on people he knew in his own life. It should also be noted that his boyhood house was bought and torn down by a wealthy man that his mother had considered a friend. The breaking guitar string in acts 2 and 4 herald back to his earliest works. Finally the classic "loaded gun" that appears in many of Chekhov's plays appears here, but this is his only play in which a gun is shown but not fired.
The play opened on January 17, 1904, the playwright's birthday, at the
Moscow Art Theatreunder the direction of legendary actor/director Constantin Stanislavski, however during rehearsals the entire structure of Act Two was re-written (to include the passer-by, and the twang from the string dying away- to empathise the audience with the mining disaster of the time). Famously contrary to Chekhov's wishes, Stanislavski's version was, by and large, a tragedy. Chekhov disliked the Stanislavski production intensely, concluding that Stanislavski had "ruined" his play, which was in turn under-rehearsed (the Moscow Arts Theatre only rehearsing it for 6 months, unlike the common practise to rehearse for 18 months, or even more). In one of many letters on the subject, Chekhov would complain, "Anya, I fear, should not have any sort of tearful tone … Not once does my Ania cry, nowhere do I speak of a tearful tone, in the second act there are tears in their eyes, but the tone is happy, lively. Why did you speak in your telegram about so many tears in my play? Where are they? ... Often you will find the words “through tears,” but I am describing only the expression on their faces, not tears. And in the second act there is no graveyard." [Gregory Stroud, "Retrospective Revolution: A History of Time and Memory in Urban Russia, 1903-1923" (Urbana-Champaign, 2006), 63-4.]
The modest and newly-urbanized audiences attending pre-revolutionary performances at S. V. Panin’s People’s House in
Saint Petersburgreportedly cheered as the cherry orchard was felled onstage. [ Richard Stites, "Revolutionary Dreams: Utopian Vision and Experimental Life in the Russian Revolution" (New York, 1989), 63. ]
The playwright's wife
Olga Knipperplayed Madame Ranevskaya in the original Moscow Art Theatreproduction, as well as in the 300th production of the play by the theatre in 1943.
A 1934 production at the
Sadler's Wells Theatrein London directed by Tyrone Guthrieand translated by Hubert Butlerwas among the first English-language productions of the play.
A television version featuring
Helen Hayesas Ranevskaya, E.G. Marshallas Lophakin and Susan Strasbergas Anya, directed by Daniel Petrie, was broadcast as part of the "Play of the Week" television series in 1959.
A production starring
Irene Worthas Ranevskaya and Meryl Streepas Dunyasha, directed by Andrei Şerbanand featuring Tony Award-winning costumes and set by Santo Loquasto, opened at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Artsin 1977.
A production directed by Peter Hall, translated by
Michael Frayn("Noises Off") and starring Dorothy Tutinas Ranevskaya, Albert Finneyas Lopakhin, Ben Kingsleyas Trofimov and Ralph Richardsonas Firs, appeared at the Royal National Theatrein London in 1978 to nearly universal acclaim. A minimalist production directed by Peter Gill opened at the Riverside Studios in London at virtually the same time, to good reviews.
In 1981, renowned director
Peter Brookmounted a production in French with an international cast including Brook's wife Natasha Parry as Ranevskaya, Niels Arestrup as Lophakin and Michael Piccoli as Gayev. The production was remounted at the Brooklyn Academy of Musicin 1988 after tours through Africa and the Middle East.
A film version starring
Charlotte Ramplingas Ranevskaya, Alan Batesas Gayev and Owen Teale as Lophakin, directed by Michael Cacoyannis, appeared in 1999.
A new production of the play starring
Annette Beningas Ranevskaya and Alfred Molinaas Lophakin, translated by Martin Sherman ("Bent") and directed by Sean Mathias ("Indiscretions") opened at the Mark Taper Forumin Los Angeles, Californiain February 2006.
Huntington Theatre Company[ [http://web.archive.org/web/20071227030833/http://www.bu.edu/cfa/theatre/huntington.htm Huntington Theatre Company] ] at Boston Universityproduced a version in January 2007 using Richard Nelson's translation, directed by Nicholas Martinwith Kate Burton as Madame Ranevskaya, Joyce Van Pattenas Charlotta Ivanova, and Dick Latessaas Firs. Jonathan Millerdirected the play in March-April 2007 at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England. The play represents Miller's return to the British stage after nearly a decade away [ [http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/article2381515.ece The Cherry Orchard, reviewed by Lynne Barber in the Independent on 22nd March 2007] (Retrieved 30th March 2007) (#4) ] and stars Joanna Lumleyas Ranevskaya. Libby Appeladapted and directed the play in 2007 for her farewell season as artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The new translation, based on an original literal translation by Allison Horsley, is considered to be "strongly Americanized."fact|date=July 2007
A version of the play was performed as the opening production on the Chichester Festival Theatre Stage during the 2008 summer season with a star-studded cast including Dame Diana Rigg, Frank Finlay, Natalie Cassidy, Jemma Redgrave and Maureen Lipman.
In pop culture
Robert De Niro's "The Good Shepherd", a performance of the play is attended by a CIAagent, portrayed by Matt Damon.
Monty Python's Flying Circusincluded a sketch on their record " Another Monty Python Record" which involved a production of the play performed entirely by Gumbies. One gets his head stuck in a cupboard, and the others behave in a similar manner, yelling "hello!" at each other and destroying the set.
*The play is somewhat obliquely referenced in "
The Fifth Elephant" by Terry Pratchett. A minor subplot in the novel centers around an extended Chekhov joke in which three sisters are living together in a small dacha surrounded by a cherry orchard (one of the sisters longs for an axe). They end up assisting Commander Samuel Vimes, by providing him with "the gloomy and purposeless trousers of Uncle Vanya".
*The plot of
Gabriele Salvatores's " Turnè" revolves around a company that performs "The Cherry Orchard" in various theatres in Italy.
Being John Malkovicha portion of the play is read by John Malkovich.
The Simpsons' Episode The Regina Monologues, the Play is used as a sly dig at Joe Millionaire, where star Evan Marriott admits he does not have a cherry orchard, much like in the show where he admits he was not a millionaire.
*In J.D. Salinger's short story
Franny and Zooey, Zooey reads from a letter his elder brother Buddy wrote to him years prior. Buddy laments in the letter that nobody has yet staged a production of The Cherry Orchard that matches "word for word" Chekhov's brilliance.
*Chekhov, Anton. "The Cherry Orchard." translated by David Magarshack. "Modern and Contemporary Drama" edited by Miriam Gilbert, Carl H. Klaus and Bradford S. Field, Jr. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994. ISBN 0-312-09077-3
* [http://ilibrary.ru/text/472/ Full text of "The Cherry Orchard" in the original Russian]
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/ac/chorch.htm Public Domain version of the play here, English translation]
* [http://www.aislesay.com/SF-OREGON-2007-1.html Discussion of the OSF adaptation]
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