About The Book
Anton Chekhov was a master whose daring work revolutionized theater, and this was as true of Ivanov, his first full-length play, as of The Cherry Orchard, his last. Building on the success of his acclaimed adaptation of The Seagull, Tom Stoppard returns to Chekhov and the themes of bitter social satire, personal introspection, and the electrifying atmosphere of Russia on the brink of change. In these two new versions, Stoppard brings his crisp and nimble style to two masterpieces of the modern theater. In The Cherry Orchard, an impoverished landowning family is unable to face the fact that their estate is about to be auctioned off. Lopakhin, a local merchant, presents numerous options to save the estate—including cutting down their prized cherry orchard—but stricken by denial the family leave the estate to the sound of axes.
“A play of unbearable heartbreak—a past lost, a present bleak and a future uncertain. . . . Tom Stoppard’s clear-headed adaptation is lean and to the point.” —Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press
“A nimble new version by Tom Stoppard that invites fresh comic shadings, pushes that sense of the incongruous not so much into farce (although there’s some of that) as into Alice in Wonderland absurdity. . . . People are always misspeaking in The Cherry Orchard, stupidly and hurtfully, because no language could properly reflect a shifting social order that has yet to assume any solid form. (Mr. Stoppard’s adaptation is full of classically Stoppardesque instances of eloquence gone awry.)” —Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Vibrant revival . . . lucid translation.” —Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News