The Cherry Orchard
In Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, the estate of an old Russian family goes bankrupt. As long as the residents had their serfs, life was good. All one had to do was consume. Unfortunately, the system has collapsed. Having grown used to an effortless lifestyle, people fail to come up with an adequate solution for the situation that has arisen. People cling to the familiar: as things were, so must they remain. Any other possibilities are haughtily rejected. The performance draws parallels between The Cherry Orchard and today’s Europe.
On a floor of carefully unfurled, gold-coloured emergency blankets are many small sculptures of food: cones of pink spaghetti, golden melons, temples of white bread, and endless rows of cherry bonbons. It is an altar. It is also the intimate space of a civilization that turns out to be quite superficial and vulnerable, because as soon as the eleven players take the stage, the decadent lifestyle of the characters begins to decay. Gradually everything is destroyed, and what remains is a filthy bare floor with desolate wads of foil and lots of trampled food.
This decor was made possible by the limited number of performances, and by the unimaginable dedication of the enthusiastic team of students. The preparation and readying required a great deal of dedication, and took about six hours per day. In the evenings, the altar was destroyed as a sacrifice.
Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten 2008
director Lotte de Beer
light Jeroen de Boer
photo courtesy Jean van Lingen
Willem Sluyterman van Loo
set, costumes M//W