Robert Menzies, Pamela Rabe and David Paterson (Image: Jeff Busby)

Ambassador Review: The Cherry Orchard

Every year a group of year 11 theatre-lovers are selected as MTC Ambassadors, embarking on an extension program which offers insight into the world of professional theatre. Each month they attend MTC productions, meet with artists and staff, and share their experience of theatre with each other. Now, we’re inviting them to share their experiences with you as well, by writing reviews of the productions they attend. Here is the first review, written by Ambassador Simone Williams.

Anton Chekhov once said; ‘let everything on stage be just as complicated and at the same time just as simple as in life.’ In the fast-paced and compelling web of intrigue that is MTC’s The Cherry Orchard we are able to see the complexity of family life, drowning in financial troubles, and also poor in common sense. At the same time we witness the simplicity of values; how new life and positive change can emerge from what seems to be insurmountable odds.

Set designer Alice Babidge’s modern white walls provide a blank canvas in which this adapted comedy by Simon Stone is able to splash a new sense of colour upon. Standout performances from the nymph-like and enigmatic Eloise Mignon and the physical comedy of Gareth Davies provide the audience with comic relief from the emotional gravity of a family losing their estate, and more significantly, their cherry orchard in which memories and generations have passed.

The play explores the integral ideas of futuristic thinking and survival. Indeed the consummate survival of the centrifugal character, Ranevskaya, played by the wonderfully enduring Pamela Rabe, manages to knit together a talented and experienced cast who truly make this show an experience that becomes relatable in every viewer’s life.

This is a stellar production filled with loss, love, and simplicity amongst the complexity.

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