Jack Scott, Charles Wu, Sarah Meacham in ‘The Cherry Orchard’. Pic Brett Boardman.

The Belvoir Street Theatre foyer before a show is a great place to be. There is such a buzz of expectancy, as the countdown is on till we are called upstairs.

Opening nights at Belvoir make it even more special.

There was, however, one opening night, years ago,  which didn’t go so well.

Actress Rachel Ward, long before she became an acclaimed film director, spotted acerbic Sydney Morning Herald theatre critic Bob Evans amongst the crowd in the foyer.

Very casually Ward went over to Evans and poured her glass of wine over him, and then walked away. I suspect Rachel did what many hard working theatre practitioners had been wanting to do to Evans for a very long time.

The craft of reviewing theatre is a pretty tricky thing. I have been a fringe theatre reviewer on the Sydney theatre scene for thirty years now. I believe that I lean much more towards being kind than scathing in my reviews. Continue reading THE CHERRY ORCHARD : A DIRECTOR LOSES HIS TOUCH


If you are looking for a meaty play hat you can really get into then make your way across to Chippendale’s Chippen Street Theatre.

At the heart of this play is human beings great difficulty in dealing with vast, weeping change An aristocratic family struggles to deal with the realisation that their best times are past and that the beloved estate, including the cherished cherry orchard, has to be sold.

The young people are the best people to cope with the sweeping changes. Student Peter Trofimov, with his fierce intellec,t is best positioned to deal with changes but his opinions are largely ignored by the family.

Victor Kalka’s production is a  good one with lost of modern touches including the use of popular songs to complement the action. The play  features Martin Bell, Garreth Cruikshank, Dominique de Marco, Zacharie di Ferdinando, Benjamin Tarlinton, Suzann James, Craig James, Laurel McGowan, Alannah Robertson, Martin Quinn, Caitlin Williams, and Harley Wilson.

Kalka’s creative team of costume designer Jake Parker and sound designer Ryan Devlin do well.

THE CHERRY ORCHARD features one of the saddest endings in all of drama. Everyone has reluctantly left the estate. Into the living enters the family long standing servant Firs who realises that he has been forgotten. With no means to leave the estate he will stay there till he dies.

As Firs fate is sealed we hear  the inexorable sounds of the  chopping down of the cherry orchard.

Recommended, Virginia Plain’s  production of  THE CHERRY ORCHARD  is playing until Saturday 15th June 2019 at the  Chippen Street Theatre   located at 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale, NSW. 




Production photography by Clare Hawley