Friday, 14 August 2009

Popping the Cherry!

I saw a play yesterday: The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Tom Stoppard. This is a play that both my father (who is an actor) and myself hold very close to our hearts, because... well... we've both been in it. Together, in fact. This limited run at The Old Vic was something I had to see, basically. I managed to astound even myself when I got the last two tickets for the entire run booked on Monday, and so yesterday we sat down and watched it.


This was something new. It was a different interpretation from the one we'd done (we'd been in Samuel Adamson's version), so even though the action and plot was the same, the dialogue - while keeping faithful to what Chekhov had intended - had been tweaked a bit here and there. But that wasn't the most impressive thing - the fact is that the play was flawless. Perfectly cast, wonderfully staged, and such fluid movement. Awesome.

And then there came the bits with the sex in.

Okay, so there's no sex in The Cherry Orchard. Not really. But there's a bit in Act II in which Yasha, the slightly dodgy manservant who I played (with relish, I might add), makes advances on and ends up kissing Dunyasha (big change of name there), the younger, impressionable and attractive female servant, who is hopelessly in love with him. I knew it was coming, and cracked a grin when I saw it happening. What I didn't expect was for them to have a full-on kiss, and for them to then flip over and end up in the missionary position on the floor of the stage...

...I swear that's not in the script...

...followed by Yasha continuing with his lines while Dunyasha... is she actually doing that?... is undoing his belt and... yes, she's definitely unzipping his trousers. Dear God, Stoppard's put fellatio in this play!

Curse you, Samuel Adamson! All I got when I was Yasha was a brief kiss!

At which point the other characters all came on and they were forced to cease their dalliance and Dunyasha made a hasty exit. Yasha looked pleased and the play continued as I expected it to.
Interestingly, I'm not making any of that up, either. I wonder what Chekhov would have thought?

1 comment:

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

I love that play, though thus far i have had to settle for reading his works..
must have been pretty cool to see it.
(do you prefer the seagull?)