National Theatre comes to Colchester

COLCHESTER’s Odeon hosted a live broadcast of the National Theatre’s production of The Cherry Orchard.

The play, by Anton Chekhov, was transmitted to cinema screens around the world and for those watching in Essex, it was certainly no disappointment.

Set at the start of the twentieth century, The Cherry Orchard explores the socio-economic forces at work in Russia at the time, including the rise of the middle class and the disappearance of the aristocracy.

Madame Ranyevskaya, played by Zo� Wanamaker, returns home to her estate after ten years abroad pennyless, and is forced to sell her home to the son of a servant turned entrepreneur. The play ends with the family leaving the estate to the sound of their beloved cherry orchard being cut down.

Wanamaker plays a brilliant Ranyevskaya. She is both lively, emotional and a perfect drama queen who’s inability to manage her finances and flirtatious behaviour make her both irritating and adorable at the same time.


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Daughter Anya played by Charity Wakefield and Conleth Hill’s Lopakhin, the money obsessed businessman who buys the estate, both put on impressive, seemingly effortless performances.

The staging was powerful and dark, providing a sombre backdrop to the events going on around them as they become more and more futile throughout the play.

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Overall a smashing performance from the lead characters and would highly recommend going to a live broadcast of National Theatre productions if you get the chance.

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