Outdoor Theatre: The Cherry Orchard
Join Miracle Theatre at special venues across Devon and beyond this summer, to catch their full-of-fun take on this Chekov classic
Miracle Theatre’s outdoor summer productions are one of the highlights of summer in this part of the world and this year, they’ve taken on the last play by renowned Russian writer Anton Chekov.
Sounds a bit heavy? Not a bit! Muddy Cornwall’s Sophie has already been and reckons quite the opposite. Though many interpretations of The Cherry Orchard dial up the tragedy and melodrama, Chekov apparently intended it to be a comedy – and Director Bill Scott has taken him at his word.
The play tells the story of a once-wealthy family and their staff, coming to terms with their dwindling fortunes – in particular the sale of their beloved cherry orchard.
The beauty of outdoor productions and simple staging, is that the acting and characterisation really stands out. True to form, Miracle’s fantastic cast bring Chekov’s characters to life in hilarious – sometimes farcical – fashion.
There’s bumbling Uncle Leonard – so posh he’s a bit ridiculous; Charlotte, the trigger-happy Irish governess; Firs the butler, who’s on his last legs and la-di-da Luella, the lady of the house, who’s desperately clinging on to memories of the past. And though the characters are self-absorbed fools for the most part, they’re somehow likeable too, so you do feel sad for them and can relate to the familiar family dramas.
Having loved the slightly bonkers The Third Policeman last summer, I was really looking forward to seeing this new outdoor production and I would highly recommend it, for a fun summer night out. We giggled throughout The Cherry Orchard, snuggled under blankets on camp chairs, with our rose and chocolate pringles in hand (get down to Aldi for these, you won’t be sorry!).
With performances throughout Devon and The South West this summer, you probably won’t have to go far to catch The Cherry Orchard either. Upcoming venues include: Exeter Phoenix and Hearn Field at Combeinteignhead.
Words: Sophie Baker