Timely telling of Chekhov classic in Kenilworth

Charlotta (Kathy Buckingham-Underhill), Lyubov (Julie-Ann Randell) and Leonid (Dave Crossfield)
Charlotta (Kathy Buckingham-Underhill), Lyubov (Julie-Ann Randell) and Leonid (Dave Crossfield)

The Cherry Orchard promises a blend of tragedy and comedy when the Chekhov classic it takes to the stage in Kenilworth next week.

The story about a noble family’s failure to manage its finances is set in Russia at the end of the 19th century, and premiered only a few years before the nation’s cataclysmic revolution.

It was originally written as a comedy with a set of memorable, idiosyncratic characters. But even its earliest productions found the tragic potential of the decadent family and retainers too much to resist – and the Talisman Theatre’s production, directed by John Dawson, seeks to tread a path between the two.

Publicity manager John Francis said: “The theatre’s management regarded the production not only as a timely revival of a great play about loss in a society in transition, but also a play asking who will gain and lose privilege in a contemporary world where age-old certainties are once-again collapsing.”

The story tells how Lyuba Ranevskaya returns to her family in her beloved estate in Russia after years in Europe having lost her young son in an accident. The estate is decaying and in debt – and questions arise over whether it can be saved, and what will happen if it cannot.

David Crossfield, who plays Leonid, said: “The naturally chaotic characters in Chekhov are full of idiosyncracies and, as such, are a delight to study and perform.”

The show runs each night from Monday May 8 to Saturday May 13 with performances beginning at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £9 or £8.50 for concessions.

Call 856548 or visit talismantheatre.co.uk to book.