VIŠŇOVÝ SMRAD / THE CHERRY STINK
Cast: 6 men, 4 women
How would the life of the characters from The Cherry Orchard look today? It would be more grotesque, cynical and hopeless, full of desperation and fear. Fear of themselves? Maybe…
Jepichodov courts Duynasha. Varya vents her anger on Duynasha. Pishchik is trying to kill himself by an unlimited consumption of alcohol. Ranevskaya is coming back from America with a young “Russian-American“ Yasha who is seduces both Duynasha and Varya even though he is not interested in either of them.
The orchard is full of fallen cherries, nobody cares about them. The air is filled with a rotten stink that is wafting through the whole farm, the house is packed with old cherry preserves. The cherries symbolize a metaphorical heritage from the past. Unwelcome and troublesome. It’s better not to see them, not to smell them.
Dyeriganov buys the land around the farm for an international company. Ranevskaya came to sell the orchard and thus gain money for another five carefree years in America. And what will happen after that? It doesn’t really matter. Five more year of joyful life! A grandmother from Yaroslavl appears on the scene. She claims that she is the last one of the Three Sisters and reveals that everything is just a reverential play to Chekhov, though very sophisticatedly organized. The climax turns into a total destruction – the characters are watching a live broadcasting of an amazing success of the Russian army science: the explosion of the strongest bomb ever. Its explosion destroys everything and everyone, so Lopachin doesn’t even manage to open a bottle of champagne…
The play is available also in Russian translation.