From Russia With Love
Writings of Anton Chekhov brought to theatre stage.
The writings of Anton Chekhov, a giant of Russian and world literature, comes to life next Thursday and Friday in Amherst.
“I think Chekhov is always very rewarding to work with but you have to balance the irony, the humour and the sympathy,” said Beverly True.
True, along with Bette Douglas, is directing a trilogy of Chekov’s plays and short stories for the Brown Bag Theatre at the Amherst Air Force Club.
From Russia With Love depicts scenes from three of Chekhov’s classics – The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, and The Weak and Defenseless Creature.
The Three Sisters stars Charley Goldrich. She plays a woman who walks from Odessa to Moscow, a walk of more than 1,100 kilometres, to audition for Chekhov in the play The Three Sisters.
“She’s very inexperienced but she has a great deal of confidence,” said Douglas, who directs the scene. “She’s determined to be heard by Chekhov. It’s a very beautiful scene.”
The second scene stars Mitch St. Peters in The Cherry Orchard.
“The Cherry Orchard concerns an old aristocratic family who has fallen down in their fortunes,” said True, director of the scene. “They have no money, they are broke, and they have to sell their dear home, which is a mansion surrounded by a cherry orchard.”
St. Peters plays Lopakhin, a former serf.
Since being set free from serfdom, Lopakhin has become a wealthy merchant and has bought the Cherry Orchard.
“The scene we’re doing is when Lopakhin comes in and says to the assembled family he has bought the cherry orchard and is now the master of the estate,” said True.
The third scene depicts Chekhov’s short story The Weak and Defenseless Creature, also directed by Douglas.
The scene features Lawry MacLeod as the banker, Val Christie as his assistant, and Mary MacLeod as the weak and defenceless creature.
“It’s an elderly lady whose husband has been dismissed from his job for no reason and not given his final pay. She believes she can come to the bank manager and get the money,” said Douglas.
From Russia With Love runs next Thursday and Friday at noon at the Amherst Air Force Club, at 31 Havelock Street, across from the Post Office.
“Doors open at 11:45 and there is a brown bag lunch with a turkey sandwich, juice, tea and coffee,” said Douglas. “Patrons eat and visit their neighbors, and then the play starts at about 12:15, and it should be over at about 12:45.”
For tickets or for more information call 902-667-7002. Tickets can also be bought at Buds to Blossoms Flower Shop.
Mary MacLeod (left) plays an elderly woman in The Weak and Defenceless Creature, while Lawry MacLeod (right) plays the bank manager and Val Christie his assistant. The scene is one of three depicted in From Russia With Love, a Brown Bag Theatre production.