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The cherry orchard

The cherry orchard
The cherry orchard
Director: Andrei Serban
Sets: Mihai Madescu
Costumes: Doina Levinta
Music:Henri Malineanu

Andrei Serban’s first production of “The Cherry Orchard” at Lincoln Center, New York, in 1977 met controversial response of high-brow N. Y. intellectuals. Serban’s treatment of Chekhov’s comedy was largely based on critical remarks made by Meyerhold on Stanislavsky’s famous production of 1904. Chekhov called his play “a comedy”, not a drama. The sets in Serban’s production called up the memories of the frozen beauty of white cherry trees against the background of white Russian sky, memories of women in white dresses and white nurseries with fragile toys scattered all over the floor.

In contrast with traditional melancholy of the closing scene of Ranevskaya’s departure, Serban fills the stage with fresh energy. Ranevskaya leaves her house with determination, only for a second stopping to savor the sweet memories of childhood. Ranevskaya is circling the room with increasing swiftness, as though collecting energy for taking a new start in life.

The New York production became enormous success. Reviewers called it “the most beautiful production of classical play of the decade”, “the best Chekhov I have ever seen”, as John Higgins wrote in London Times. “The Cherry Orchard” was premiered in Bucharest in 1992.

venue: Army Theatre