Doctor Foster star confirmed for The Cherry Orchard at Nottingham Playhouse

Sara Stewart

Directed by Giles Croft, The Cherry Orchard will be Croft’s final production at Nottingham Playhouse as artistic director, and features well-known stars of the Playhouse stage: Kenneth Alan Taylor as Firs and John Elkington as Lopakhin, as well as Sara Stewart, fresh from the gripping BBC drama Doctor Foster.

Anton Chekhov’s last – and widely considered greatest – play, The Cherry Orchard, tells the story of a family on the edge of ruin and a country on the brink of revolution.

When Ranevskaya (Sara Stewart) returns to her country home – with its famous orchard – she is torn between its past and the future.

By turns tragic and funny, this new version by Olivier Award‑winner Simon Stephens (A Doll’s House, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), is both dynamic and profound.

Taking the role of Charlotta Ivanovna is Claire Storey, Jamie de Courcey is confirmed to play Peter Trofimov and Graham Butler will be taking the role of Yasha.

Babirye Bukilwa is due to play Varya, alongside Jonathan Oliver as Boris Simeonov-Pishchik, and Evlyne Oyedokun taking the stage as Anya.

Robin Kingsland will be playing Leonid Gayev, Patrick Osborne will take the role as Simeon Yepikhodov, Dunyasha will be played by Sasha Frost and the roles of Lev the Station Master/ Traveller will be played by Rob Goll.

Giles Croft has chosen this masterpiece as his final production – and first Chekhov – as Artistic Director. Leaving an incredible legacy of productions including Polygraph, Rat Pack Confidential, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Ashes, Arcadia and The Kite Runner.

Giles said: “During my time at Nottingham Playhouse I have been fortunate enough to direct work by writers as varied as Robert Lepage, Henrik Ibsen and Noel Coward so when thinking about what would be my final production I was unsure of where to begin. I knew that it had to be a play that I love, that it should be connected with the theme of change and would also present me with a new challenge. I have never directed Chekov, I love The Cherry Orchard and is there a better play about change?”