The title tells you that you’re getting a version of Anton Chekhov’s immortal play ‘The Cherry Orchard’ – and the title is right! What it doesn’t tell you is that Vinay Patel’s all-Asian cast adaptation of ‘The Cherry Orchard’ is a sci-fi set in space. It follows the crew of Captain Ramesh’s spaceship – all of whom were born on said vessel, as were their parents, and their parents before them – as they finally happen across a habitable planet to colonise, in what should be the culmination of their generations-long quest for a new home. But not everyone wants to leave the ship.
Heavyweight James Macdonald is by far the biggest directing name to ever helm a show at the hip but perennially up-and-coming Yard: co-produced with Manchester’s HOME and English Touring Theatre, ‘The Cherry Orchard’ is the highest-profile show in the Hackney Wick theatre’s existence, just before it moves to a bigger new building. It’s kind of a shame the Yard is growing up. And yet the combination of Russian melancholy and science fiction feels very, very Yard.