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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 1. 4th March, 1957

Drama Among the Cherries

Drama Among the Cherries

In the Little Theatre, as Time would say, a Shambles. There is a cast, dazzling lighting, no scenery and a sense of inadequacy. Realism could go no further, even in Russia at the turn of the century. This, however, is a Twentieth Century "Cherry Orchard," and Margaret Walker will be producing for us with all the sensitivity she commands. She produced The Crucible, The House of Bernada Alba, and Antigone, for Unity as if you didn't remember, and if she has anything to do with it, you will remember The Cherry Orchard, the V.U.C. Drama Club's major production for 1957.

Up to now (February 19) rehearsals have been discussions and group reading, intensive study of character and (here's something) some adaptation from the original by Natasha Tver who found a translator's English not quite up to Chekhov's Russian, all matters of deep, deep, Twentieth Century despair. Let us now praise the coffee shops, some of which are open after rehearsals.

The use of 'despair' may be misleading; the despair is that of the cast—Chekhov meant The Cherry Orchard to be a comedy, the story of an estate sold into the hands of a businessman of peasant stock. The important part of the estate is the graceful Cherry Orchard itself which is to become a monstrous subdivision for middle class people. Elizabeth Gordon plays Madame Ranyevskia, a Prodigal Mother, somewhat set in her ways: Meg Anderson, her daughter; and John Dawick, the eternal (idealist) student Lopahin, the moneyed peasant, is played by Graeme Eton. They are supported by Heather Scott, Trevor King, David Vere-Jones, Colin Bickler and Geoffrey Barlow. The scenery is designed by Peter Campbell.

There will be a great deal of publicity from our scribes who will keep you reading till finals, but Drama Club will not come to an end when the axes begin to bite into the Cherry Orchard. The year's new members will come into their own when the Club holds an evening in the second week of Term and reads Shaw's Dark Lady of the Sonnets and discusses the year's programme, if you can act, dance, stitch, daub, produce or work in wood (build things) you are more than qualified to join us.