Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/970/26419

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2017

Theatre: The Cherry Orchard

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

Gary Owen's adaptation of 'The Cherry Orchard'

Gary Owen's adaptation of 'The Cherry Orchard'   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones

The Cherry Orchard is set in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1982. Yes, that's right. It's a modern retelling of the original written by Anton Chekhov just before the first Russian revolution in 1905. And it's brilliant.

Action revolves around an old manor house on the west Wales coast, home to farms, orchards, a wealthy family and the estate's workers. But there's trouble ahead. The bank is threatening repossession, forcing the family to find a solution or lose everything.

The supposed head of the English landowning family is Rainey, the perfect embodiment of her class. She is arrogant, lazy, with complete contempt for her staff, the poor, the Welsh, even her own family. She is forced to return from living it up at the Dorchester in London to address the crisis.

As the family argues, the dialogue is hilarious and peppered with references - both musical and political - to 1982: music and the class conflict of Thatcher's Britain.

The latter is injected by bolshie locals Dottie, the manor's housekeeper played brilliantly by Alexandria Riley, and Ceri, an unemployed socialist who falls in love with one of the family's daughters.

Both are funny, passionate and angry; quick to defend their local council estate, and remind the family of some home truths.

There are numerous examples of the difference between these two worlds. But the most striking is death and grief.

It affects everyone, of course. But Dottie rages at the fact her first day working at the manor, at the age of 16, came the day after her father died.

She was forced to work to keep food on the table. Meanwhile Rainey, after her own loss, set herself up in a posh London flat and went on a ten-year bender.

I've not seen the original, but a glance at its plot shows the themes remain the same. An out-of-touch upper class; gross inequality; the masses and poor increasingly confident - all set to the backdrop of great change around the corner.

Part of 'R17', a series of events by arts organisations in Wales to mark the centenary of the Russian revolution, this play is worthy of the connection - as well as being a laugh-out-loud funny, engrossing, thought-provoking drama in its own right.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 8 November 2017:


What we think

'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us


Socialist Party news and analysis

Westminster sexual harassment scandal

Walk out against tuition fees!

Bosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

We can win the vote at 16!

Child poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

PFI privateers dodge tax

What we saw


Workplace news and analysis

Pay cap decisively rejected by PCS union members

BA mixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

Unite union sector conferences: coordinate action over pay

Picturehouse strike: "evil corporations are evil"

Arriva bus strike still solid


International socialist news and analysis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Health campaign discusses strategy to save NHS

Chatsworth neuro-rehab ward still open - unions join the campaign

Housing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

Thousands march in London for Palestine

Opposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

Orgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Sheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Obituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 November 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Theatre:

triangleTheatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas

triangleDramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

triangleNew play celebrates Grunwick strike

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleCorbyn confirms 1bn for the arts

Wales:

triangleWelsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Catalonia, Scotland and Wales

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Revolution:

triangleCzechoslovakia 1968: 'Prague Spring' challenges Stalinism

triangleBernie's book shows need for workers' party

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The Iran 1979 revolution

Arts:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

triangleSkipton show proves draw of socialist art

Inequality:

triangleCapitalists fear for their system at Davos

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

14/2/18

Homeless

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street

14/2/18

Pay

I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

7/2/18

Socialist

The Socialist inbox

7/2/18

Cinema

Darkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

7/2/18

Revolution

Bernie's book shows need for workers' party

7/2/18

Students

GCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

7/2/18

NHS

Tragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

7/2/18

Sexism

Fighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

31/1/18

Cricket

Capitalism v cricket

31/1/18

Film

Trump as Nixon: urgent questions about press freedom and the state

31/1/18

Sexism

Presidents Club sexism scandal: what you thought

24/1/18

Carillion

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

24/1/18

Universal Credit

Universal credit: set up to fail

24/1/18

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

19/1/18

Carillion

Carillion and the construction industry

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999