I didn't bother making the trip to London to see it because despite the fact that Howard Davies' other Russian productions at the National (The White Guard and Philistines) being amazing and beautiful- and of course Conleth Hill being wonderful, I'd heard a good production of The Cherry Orchard on Radio4 a couple of years ago and that was enough for me... Also the radio didn't have Zoe Wanamaker, who I can't stand.
And it was a good production, the second half was particularly good, when the shit hits the fan in those Russian plays that's when the acting really takes off! And you know, there seemed to be less Wanamaker in the second half too, or maybe just less close ups...
That was the weird part about seeing it at the cinema, the fact that the camera dictated what I was looking at. I didn't like that at all! If I'd have been watching at the theatre I would have had my eyes on Conleth Hill or Mark Bonnar the whole time, watching how they reacted to what the others were saying, not zooming in on Tim McMullan (amusing though he is) or Charity Wakefield's big bland face.
Mark Bonnar, there's an actor I've been enjoying lately, Psychoville, Doctor Who and now great, a bit of theatre, haven't seen him on stage since Philistines and that must have been four years ago! He is one hot potato right now. I might just add the tag 'handsome' to this post. I'd still rather go for Conleth Hill though, he is one brilliant actor... If you'd never seen Rory Kinnear and someone told you that Roy Kinnear had a son who was a brilliant actor you might just picture Conleth Hill- he is a bit on the Roy Kinnear side of cuddly. And I love him.
Anyway, a play about the sadness of moving house. Don't like Zoe Wanamaker, over rated, like Simon Russell Beale. Blah. Rest of the cast: thumbs up.