The Cherry Orchard

Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, 2009
Author: Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Directed by Svetozár Sprušanský

about the production

Although the plays by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov were written at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, the thrilling dialogues between theatre makers and audiences have been stirring even a hundred years later. It is mainly because Chekhov´s characters plastically depict different types of human natures, attitudes and acts. Equally important is also the political situation of the environment which often influences their actions. Nevertheless, the period itself never plays as important role as the psychological analyses of human lives.

Also in Slovakia, The Cherry Orchard has had quite an interesting staging tradition. The most successful were productions directed by Ľubomír Vajdička (1979) and Vladimír Strnisko (1984). Each of these productions originally accentuated the human extent of Chekhov´s characters, but both of them clearly reacted to the social climate of the then society.

Our present offers different social co-ordinates to the interpretation of The Cherry Orchard. It is mostly the impetuousness of new businessmen who ruin everything valuable in order to reach their money-making interests. Nitra´s Lopakhin is a successful entrepreneur. Yet, more than in his business, he is interested in is climbing up a social ladder – by purchasing the orchard of Madame Ranevskaya, he could obtain the “ticket” to the higher society. The main character is played by an actor of the Ukrainian origin (Jevgenij Libezňuk, a member of the Alexander Duchnovič Theatre in Prešov) and that gives the production a surprisingly contemporary effect.

Svetozár Sprušanský directs The Cherry Orchard with a fine hand. He leads the actors to as if plain and economical gestures. The concentrated creations of the actors and extreme levels of expressions are combined with the coolness in relationships between the characters, the traditional emotionality is moved beyond the border of the kitsch and the crafty entrepreneur intentions are given a freezing “eastern” accent. As if the time has stopped in the Ranevskaya family. Everything just passes by in the lethargy of the gloomy tranquillity, while inside each of the characters there are pulsing emotions and sensations. Nitra´s production of The Cherry Orchard is a work in which own, original interpretation is connected with mature and modern acting. The modernity of the production is completed by the uniquely eclectic music, costumes and stirring sound. So far, The Cherry Orchard is the last from Chekhov´s serie works directed by Svetozár Sprušanský.
Oleg Dlouhý


directed by Svetozár Sprušanský
translation and adaptation: Svetozár Sprušanský
dramaturgy: Daniel Majling
costumes: Dorota Cigánková
set design: Diana Strauszová
characters and cast: Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevska: Eva Matejková, LLeonid Andreyevich Gayev, her brother: Ján Greššo, Anya, her daughter: Zuzana Moravcová, Varya, her step-daughter: Daniela Kuffelová, Yermolay Alexeyevich Lopakhin: Jevgenij Libezňuk, PPeter Sergeyevich Trofimov: Marcel Ochránek, Firs: Jozef Dóczy, Boris Borisovich Simeonov – Pishchik: Anton Živčic, Charlotta Ivanovna: Žofia Martišová, Semion Panteleyevich Yepichodov: Matúš Krátky, Yasha: Peter Kadlečík, Duniasha: Zuzana Porubjaková


Svetozár Sprušanský (1971) studied cultural studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of Comenius University in Bratislava and theatre science at the Drama and Puppetry Department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He is the dramaturg- in-chief at the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra (DAB) and the Nová scéna Theatre in Bratislava.  As a director he focuses on presenting plays from both ends – classical Russian plays as well as contemporary dramatic texts. The most appraised and often awarded productions are his unusual interpretations of Russian classics – mostly by Chekhov. In the beginnings he made Chekhov´s one-acts such as The Proposal / The Bear (DOSKY Award 1998 – Best Music), The Seagull (DOSKY Award 2000 – Best Music; presented at the DN 2000), Three Sisters (DOSKY Award 2003 – Best Production, Best Direction, Best Costumes; presented at the DN 2003). His Cherry Orchard (to be presented at the DN 2009) is the last from the Chekhov trilogy at the DAB.

At the Ruthenian Alexander Dukhnovich Theatre he carried out another Russian trilogy: Chekhov´s Uncle Vanya (DOSKY Award 2006 – five nominations), Gogol´s The Government Inspector (DOSKY Award 2007 – Best Actor nomination) and Gorky´s The Lower Depths.

Svetozár Sprušanský is a holder of the DOSKY Award 2008 as the Discovery of the Season for his monothematic theatre season of Slovak classical literature called “Family Silver” at the Andrej Bagar Theatre.


Materials available

Script of the production: SK, EN

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