My two regular readers will know I have a difficult time with Chekhov and in particular The Cherry Orchard. I keep plugging away in the hope that something will click, that it will feel funny and tragic rather than a long, frustrating, philosophical whinge.
It's a slow burn, I'm starting to realise, but the Young Vic may have just ignited a couple more branches.
This version is by Simon Stephens and directed by Katie Mitchell. It's a trim 2 hours straight through and that plays its part. It feels fast paced, characters rushing across the stage - a more traditional proscenium style for the Young Vic - as if time is spinning faster towards the inevitable end.
The frenetic energy contrasts with Madame Ranevskaya (Kate Duchene) mental stasis. And it was that which played the biggest part.
Never before have I been able to connect with Ranevskaya, the lady of the house and owner of the Cherry Orchard. She has always seemed a bit too silly and ridiculous. I've wanted to yell at her 'just sell the bloody Cherry Orchard'. Lopakhin (Dominic Rowan) does actually yell at her to do just that which was a satisfying moment. It made me smile.