Modern adaptation of a classic

Dunedin’s Sahara BreeZe (SBZ) Productions will present a new multi-disciplined multimedia adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play The Cherry Orchard at the Mayfair Theatre this month.

Written in 1903 and regarded as a theatrical masterpiece, The Cherry Orchard follows the falling fortunes of the Ranevsky family, who live on an old estate with a wonderful cherry orchard.

Despite being in financial dire straits, they are unable to change their expensive lifestyle to pay the mortgage, so the estate has to be auctioned off. But there is a way out — to cut the cherry orchard down and subdivide the land for holiday houses.

This adaptation of The Cherry Orchard, directed by Blaise Barham, brings this Russian play into a modern New Zealand context. Adapted from a translation by Stuart Young, the play focuses on themes of loss, and the need to deal with an every-changing world, and includes original music by A.J. Hickling.

The production also blends traditional, musical, and physical theatre, as well as physical comedy routines, and aerial circus.

The production is supported by the Dunedin City Council professional theatre fund.

It is on at the Mayfair Theatre from November 16-25, at 7pm, with a 2pm matinee on November 19.