Vishnyovyi sad

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Vishnyovyi sad (Russian: Вишнёвый сад; English: The Cherry Orchard) is a play by Anton Chekhov (1860–1904)[1]

The original text

Written in 1903, it was the last play written by Chekhov and is considered one of his greatest works. The author described it as a comedy, with some elements of farce, but Konstantin Stanislavski (1863-1938)[2] treated as a tragedy in the original production of the work at the Moscow Art Theatre on 17 January 1904. Most other directors have also found themselves having to contend with the rather ambiguous statement and the inherent dual nature of the work.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Kersieboord by Karel Schoeman, published by Human and Rousseau in 1975.

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Kersietuin by Robert Mohr and adapted as a TV Movie in 1983, directed by Stephan Bouwer with a cast that included Wilna Snyman, Marius Weyers and Annelisa Weiland.[3]

Janet Suzman wrote and produced a radically adapted version of it, entitled The Free State, setting the play in South Africa.

Reza de Wet also borrowed heavily from the play for her own Drie Susters Twee (Three Sisters Two) and Yelena.

Performance history in South Africa

First South African performance in 19** by **.

1944: Produced in English by Rosalie van der Gucht for the Cape Reps in the Little Theatre. With Nathan Jacobsohn (Lopakhin), Mary Kay, Mary Dean, T.H. Kelly, Bob Morrison, Leonard Schach, L.C. Young, Lesley Stevenson. Set designed by Cecil Pym.

1963: Presented in English by PACT at the Alexander Theatre, Johannesburg and the National Theatre, Pretoria, May-June, directed by John Fernald, starring his wife Jenny Laird, Siegfried Mynhardt, Simon Swindell, Bryan Bales, Patrick Mynhardt, Arthur Hall, Frank Douglass, Ziona Garfield, Elizabeth Georgiades, Estelle Kohler, Fiona Fraser, Anthony James and Taffy Griffiths. Settings by Roy Cooke, costumes by Joubero Malherbe.

1970: Presented in English by CAPAB Drama by arrangement with A.D. Peters, directed by Robert Mohr, production designed by Peter Krummeck, lighting by Scott Robertson. The cast: Yvonne Bryceland (Mme Lyubov Ranevskaya), Liz Rae (Anya), Lyn Hooker (Varya), Bernard Brown (Leonid Gayev), Kerry Jordan (Yermolay Lopakhin), Wilson Dunster (Pyotr Trofimov), Arthur Hall (Boris), Val Donald (Charlotte), Roger Dwyer (Semyon), Cathy Hanson (Dunyasha), John Mitchell (Firs), Glynn Day (Yasha), David Sharp. The play opened at the H.B. Thom Theatre and toured the Eastern Cape before starting its four week season at the Hofmeyr Theatre.

1977: Presented in English by PACOFS production in August, with Mavis Lilenstein as the stage manager.

1978: Performed in English by the Baxter Company, directed by Ken Leach with Sandra Prinsloo, Merle Lifson, Michele Maxwell, Keith Grenville, Henry Goodman, Wilson Dunster, Simon Swindell, Marga van Rooy, Frantz Dobrowsky, Melanie-Ann Sher, Don Maguire, Pieter Geldenhuys, Roland Stafford. **

1979: Performed in Afrikaans as Die Kersietuin by PACT, directed by Robert Mohr, with Rika Sennett, David van der Merwe, Wilna Snyman and Carel Trichardt.

2004: Performed in Afrikaans as Die Kersieboord by the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department in the H.B. Thom Theatre in 2004, directed by Gaerin Hauptfleisch. The cast included Stian Bam, Riaan Visman, Martelize Kolver, Quentin Krog and Floyed de Vaal.

2013: Performed in Afrikaans as Die Kersieboord from 6 to 17 August and 27 to 31 August at the Intimate Theatre, Cape Town. Directed Sandra Temmingh for The Mechanicals, with Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Wilhelm van der Walt and Oscar Peterson. It was part of The Mechanicals’ Chekhov Season, which also included The Proposal (20:00) and The Bear (22 to 26 August, 1 to 12 September).

Sources The Cherry Orchard

Bosman, 1928: pp

South African Opinion, 1(10):20; Trek, 9(11):18, 1944.

PACT Report 1963/1964.

The Cherry Orchard theatre programme (CAPAB, 1970).

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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