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The Cherry Orchard

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  30,482 ratings  ·  1,162 reviews
Published to tie in with the world premiere at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

In Chekhov's tragi-comedy - perhaps his most popular play - the Gayev family is torn by powerful forces, forces rooted deep in history, and in the society around them. Their estate is hopelessly in debt: urged to cut down their beautiful cherry orchard and sell the land for holiday cottages, they stru
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 5th 2004 by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama (first published 1903)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Вишнёвый сад = Vishnevyi Sad = The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov

The play concerns an aristocratic Russian landowner who returns to her family estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. Unresponsive to offers to save the estate, she allows its sale to the son of a former serf; the family leaves to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down.

The story presents themes of cultural futility – both the futile attempts of the arist
"Life has gone by as if I never lived"


I've read THE CHERRY ORCHARD many times, but for the first time I had the realization that it was written by a man who knew he was dying. The dying Chekhov realized he was part of a dying breed in a dying country. And while he had no idea what lie ahead, he knew change was coming to Mother Russia.

What matters in Chekhov’s last play, and in Trevor Griffiths translation, is way that chance affects our lives; the unpredictabi
For me, Anton Chekhov has always been a bright star in Russian literature. His short stories have always fascinated me - witty, clever, both funny and sad, with brilliant astute insights into human soul, with all its pettiness and smallness and loveliness. They were perhaps a bit too modern for the stuffy times he lived in. (He wrote many of the short humorous stories in his youth, and in the tradition of serious Russian literature, was heavily criticized for wasting his talent on such inconsequ ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2013
It’s true what they say. Chekhov’s got guns!

This is a great play about the decline of the Russian aristocracy, its implications for the working class rising to fill the vacancies left by those cash-stricken families, and the complications propagated by these changes, namely the social inadequacies of those who get sucked into this newfound vacuum.

I read Three Sisters recently and while I did like the play, it did not shake my maracas as much as I had hoped it would. There are intertwining th
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have chosen to begin my 2018 reading year with a number of shorter yet significant reads. I noticed that my 2017 began in a similar matter so I am noticing that I use January to ease into my reading for the year. A square on classics bingo is to read a classic play so I selected Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, a play in four acts which wrote within a year of his death. In this timeless and still often performed drama, Chekhov details the dichotomy between Russian social classes on the dawn ...more
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-fiction
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to The Cherry Orchard, a tragedy and comedy all rolled into one, published in 1904 by a great Russian, Anton Chekhov. I'd heard of this play during my high school years, but never actually read it. In college, I had a course in modern drama and theatre, where this was one of the 16 plays we read: 1 per week for the 4 month course. Our school also performed a theatrical version a later semester where I participated in some backstage work. We also did a vide
Chekhov described The Cherry Orchard as a comedy, but as a reader it's hard to view it in any way other than a tragedy. It's another work of literature that depicts the declining Russian aristocracy which would end 13 years later with the Russian Revolution, and made permanent in 1918 with the murder of the Royal Family.

The play opened in theater to great success in Jan. 1904, but Chekhov would die 6 months later at the age of 44, cutting short a life and career that would leave us with some of
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Checkov's Cherry Orchard delves into themes and ideas of cultural futility amidst political and cultural change.

First produced in 1904, Checkov is documenting the in-between time, between the dying aristocracy of the past and the post-industrial age of the future, and though he is not quite an apologist for the old times, he is inclined to lament the way things are going. Yet the change is inevitable as beautifully symbolized by the portrait crashing own on the man.

A brilliant study of the cont
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russian, plays
This play was an enjoyable read for me. It is about a once aristocratic family, now impoverished and forced to sell everything, including their beautiful cherry orchard, that seemed to be the main thing they cared about, the reason of their pride. Even though they were about to lose everything they owned, they were in some sort of denial because they didn't (or couldn't) do anything to solve that situation. And while this family was in decline, a new kind of rich people arose: the once serfs wer ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Chekhov masterfully presents the social and economic changes which affected Russian landed gentry after the abolition of serfdom in the 1860s.
I went into this book expecting to really like it because so many of my Goodread friends enjoyed it. Sadly, I did not. There were too many characters in the play. I'm not sure what they were all doing there except add to the constant whining of ALL the characters. By the end of the play I couldn't care less about the outcome of the cherry orchard. ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, russian-lit
The Cherry Orchard is a story that portrays the end of an era of landed gentry in Russia. With the fall of the nobility, there rises a new middle class. And the landownership passes from the failing gentry to the wealthy middle class. Madam Ranevsky represents the declining nobility; Lopakhin, a merchant, represents the emerging new wealthy middle class. And interestingly, Loparkhin is a descendant of former serfs who toiled in the very same lands he was purchasing.

Thematically, Chekhov was bri
I couldn't remember the name, but this was my favorite story from the class. I was way more Goth back then. Still, I loved this story. It's another English Lit book.

I should read it again.
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
“And what does it mean -- dying? Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and only the five we know are lost at death, while the other ninety-five remain alive.”

I had a couple hours in a car and so I picked something short to listen to, Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, one of his four great plays, including The Sea Gull, Three Sisters and Ivanov. I am reading his collected stories at the rate of about one a month, it seems, but I wanted to revisit his plays, which I have seen. In 2018, after reading a l
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, classic, plays
"Oh, will you understand
My soul's deep restlessness?"

The last play in my book of three Chekhov’s plays. I don’t quite understand how is The Cherry Orchard Chekhov’s most famous play because I found it less appealing than Three Sisters, which was my favorite, or Uncle Vanya. The characters seem less developed and the classic themes that are explored in each play didn’t hit the note with me as the others, even though I can see a great value in this one too.

The most dominating subject of the play
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: 19th-century, theatre
This play is one of the most desperately sad things I have ever seen. It is a portrait of a family struggling in a period where old and new russia are scraping up against each other in a way that is physically painful to watch. I saw a performance of this while on study abroad at Oxford, and I went to a bookstore after the performance so I could read this over and over again to myself. These characters express so much and just accomplish so desperately little at the end of the day. Some of these ...more
Steven Godin
Chekhov's classic play (his last, and my favourite of his plays) works so brilliantly well as a piece of dramatic storytelling, it's little wonder it still gets the full treatment today, giving modern audiences a glimpse of Chekhov's genius. Described as a tragic-comedy (although I found it more tragic than comic) The Cherry Orchard has dominant themes concerning economic and social transition in his homeland. Chekhov successfully includes a range of characters who represent Russian society at t ...more
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
What a beautiful, sad little play (although Chekhov himself called it a comedy). Published in 1904, this is about an aristocratic Russian family who have gone into debt and are forced to sell their family property. It looks at all different classes of people, and at the effects of the abolition of serfdom, the fall of the aristocracy, and the general pointlessness of human existence (because Russia). This is definitely one of those books that’ll be really boring if you just read it for the words ...more
Here is simple question, usually avoided by bad directors: for what EXACT reason Ranevskaya comes back to Russia, to her old dying estate? Yes, we know she had issues with her man in Paris, but that's not the reason to come across whole Europe and hang out in a run-down place with nothing to do. It's rather obvious from the text, that she does't belong in the estate anymore and wants to leave almost from the very beginning of her comeback. Too often this question is getting lazy, pseudo-poetic a ...more
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it

in this play a Russian aristocratic family having financial problems and sinking in a large debt, due to the social disturbances and political transformations in the early twentieth century.,were forced to sell their Cherry Orchard, ,which wasn't an ordinary Orchard but the most beautiful one in the entire estate....
while family members are busy at a ceremony inside the palace, their orchard is being sold, in this scene Chekhov emphasize the exaggerated the sensation of indifference,their Loss
B. P. Rinehart
(I read the translation by Ann Dunnigan, but the quotes in this article will be of Julius West.)

"Lopakhin: It's true. To speak the straight truth, we live a silly life. [Pause] My father was a peasant, an idiot, he understood nothing, he didn't teach me, he was always drunk, and always used a stick on me. In point of fact, I'm a fool and an idiot too. I've never learned anything, my handwriting is bad, I write so that I'm quite ashamed before people, like a pig!"

"Trofimov: All Russia is our orch
The Cherry Orchard is subtitled ‘Comedy in Four Acts’, but the comedy is subtle, partly because Chekhov delivers the drama through naturalistic dialogue, reading it are pages and pages of characters stressing and worry. And as they complain and have, what seems like, the most mundane exchanges, the farcical can easily be missed. These moments were randomly scattered through the play, giving a comical accent to the heavy tone of the play.

Reading it, Chekhov made me see the absurdity of this tragi
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Setting: Russia at the start of the 20th Century in a village some distance from a major town. Kernal: A railroad passes by land upon which grows a large and venerable cherry orchard, a cherry orchard the landowners can no longer afford.

Oh my, how I love this play. Each of the characters makes sense but each of their positions is set slightly angled to all the others, overlapping perhaps, but still at odds. In the end, none but the entrepreneur Lopakhin gets his/her way. Hopes are dashed but ev
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated, plays
In early 19th century, many (European, British) aristocratic families started to see the changes in the world directly impacting their household. Rich people were now self made, laborers preferred factories and mills, and everyday things became a little more expensive. The time this little story is set is when political and cultural changes were rampant in Russia. The landowner's ancestral estate is in shambles with its pretty cherry orchard and grand house. Its buyer is a self made man, a serf, ...more
Comedy in four acts is not the way I'd describe a society flying apart at the seams.

I guess the line between tragedy and comedy is razor thin in places. Listening to Tchaikovsky did not help though I often find music to be a more obvious representation of emotions. Set post Emancipation and pre-revolution in Russia, a spectrum of viewpoints from the characters, a time capsule. Each so sure of their understanding, those in denial and those pushing towards what will be.

Overall, a closing window.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Gayev family seems to represent a level of fecklessness that is hard to believe. Their entire lives have been involved in the business of letting money run through their hands until there is none left. And now it is the turn of their estate with its famous cherry orchard to be sold at auction and for the family to dissipate to the four winds.

Anton Chekhov has in his plays, particularly in The Cherry Orchard, concentrated on the sad case of the incompetent landed gentry gone to seed. Gayev hi
Amit Mishra
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
In The Cherry Orchard, as in his short stories, Chekov knit together the tragic and comic elements of life. For the representatives of the old tradition it is tragic to watch their once flourishing heritage disintegrate, whereas, to the members of the rising generation who can joyfully and idealistically look forward to a prosperous fortune, this stubborn clinging to ancient and worn-out ways seems somewhat ludicrous.
David Sarkies
Reflections on a Russia in transition
26 September 2013

What really sucks is when you have just finished reading a play and a tram trundles by the pub that you are in with an advertisement for that particular play, which finished the day before. Okay, maybe I should have my ear to the ground of the Melbourne theatre scene a little bit more, but still, that is just bad luck in the extreme. At least the fringe festival has some Chekhov plays showing near where I live, though they are the one act pl

Rev-visit 2015 was film only:

Translated by Sasha Dugdale.

A new production of Chekhov's timeless study of a Russian aristocratic family forced to sell their house and beloved cherry orchard during the great social transitions of the 19th century.

Madame Ranevskaia ...... Sarah Miles
Gaev ...... Nicholas le Prevost
Varia ...... Anne-Marie Duff
Ania ...... Susannah Fielding
Trofimov ...... Gunnar Cauthery
Simeonov-Pishchik ...... Roger Hammond
Lopakhin ...... M
Plays are meant to be seen. Listening to an audiobook can never equal one's experience of sitting in a theater watching! I leave the rating blank. The play I loved, but not the audiobook, though not poorly performed. No information about setting.

While searching for the correct version I have now discovered that what I have listened to is in fact an abridgment! This was not stated at Audible. This annoys me.
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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов ) was born in the small seaport of Taganrog, southern Russia, the son of a grocer. Chekhov's grandfather was a serf, who had bought his own freedom and that of his three sons in 1841. He also taught himself to read and write. Yevgenia Morozova, Chekhov's mother, was the daughter of a cloth merchant.

"When I think back on my childhood," Chekh

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