William B Davis’ ensemble, The Smoking Gun Collective, who brought the
thrilling J.B. Priestley An Inspector Calls last season, has another historical
drama for you. This time we go to Russia, 1904, to Chekhov’s magnificent
final play, The Cherry Orchard.
Hailed as one of the finest plays of all time, The Cherry Orchard tells the
story of a lovely aristocratic family who simply will not face the future.
Forty years after the serfs were freed, Russian society is in great
upheaval, yet the Gaev family clings to the past and their old ways. Liubov
Ranefskaya and her daughter, Anya, return home from Paris to find their
beloved estate is to be sold at auction if they cannot pay their debts. Even
their magnificent cherry orchard may fall to the axe.
Chekhov’s wonderful characters come beautifully to life under the sensitive direction of William B. Davis whose first professional production of a Chekhov play was in 1963 in Dundee, Scotland. Critics have argued for a century about whether the play is a comedy as Chekhov called it or a tragedy as Stanislavsky produced it. With such an amazing cast, it is both. Full of absurdities and contrasts, we yet cannot help embracing the underlying vulnerability and fragility of the characters. The play has no
“message”. Chekhov’s genius was to bring people to life on the page or the stage and let the reader or viewer make up their own mind. A rare opportunity to see this classic of world theatre!
John Prowse, Lesli Brownlee, and Chris Walters (An Inspector Calls) return to the company for this production. They are joined by others from Davis’ previous productions, Corina Akeson, Tim Bissett, Matt Loop (Sherlock holmes and the case of the jersey lily), Douglas Abel (A Man for All Seasons), Jack Rigg (Hay Fever), and newcomers to the company, Bronwen Smith, Martha Elisabeth Ansfield-Scrase, Christine Iannetta, and Sean Anthony.
About the Director: Better known now as an actor, particularly for his role as The Cigarette Smoking Man in The X-Files, for much of his career William B. Davis has been a highly regarded director in the theatre. He has been running theatre companies since he was 20. These have included Straw Hat Players in Ontario, Dundee Rep in Scotland, and Festival Lennoxville in Quebec. His most recent plays include An Inspector Calls at Jericho Arts Centre and Homeward Bound with Western Gold Theatre.
Produced by Emmanuelle Davis, set design is by Tracy-Lynn Chernaske, sound design by Sean Anthony, lighting by Marco Lamera, costume design by Julie White and stage management by Samantha Pawliuk. The play will be at The Jericho Arts Centre 1675 Discovery street Vancouver, from April 27th to May 19th.
Evenings Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8:00 PM.
Matinees, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 PM.
Tickets at Ticket price $25 adult and $22 for student and senior.
Tickets available on Brown Paper Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3344787