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Cherry Orchard, The (BBC 1962, Judi Dench, Peggy Ashcroft)

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Period drama the Cherry Orchard focuses on Madame Renevsky and her daughter Anya who are shocked to discover that, on their return home following a visit to Paris, their home and estate (including a much loved cherry orchard) is to be auctioned off to pay off their debts. Their former employee Lopahin, now wealthy in his own right suggests that parceling up their land into smaller portions would raise a large sum of money but the girls are convinced that their home can be saved.

Despite some obvious stagy moments and slightly shaky camera work this was an impressive Royal Shakespeare Company version of the Chekov play, actually adapted for the stage by Gielgud himself and featuring early performances from the likes of Judi Dench and Ian Holm amongst the theatrical heavyweights.

production details
UK | BBC | 1×130 minute episode | Broadcast 17 April 1962 in black and white

Writer: John Gielgud
Play: Anton Chekhov
Producer: Michel Saint-Denis
Theatre Design: Abd’elkader Farrah
Adapted for television by Norman James
Music: Brian Priestman
Director: Michael Elliott

cast
PEGGY ASHCROFT as Madame Ranevsky
DAVID BUCK as Yasha
PATSY BYRNE as Dunyasha
PATIENCE COLLIER as Charlotta Ivanova
JUDI DENCH as Anya
ROY DOTRICE as Firs
JOHN GIELGUD as Gaev
GORDON GOSTELOW as Passer-By
PAUL HARDWICK as Pishchik
IAN HOLM as Trofimov
GEORGE MURCELL as Lopahin
DOROTHY TUTIN as Varya
PATRICK WYMARK as Epihodov
also with JULIAN BATTERSBY, SEBASTIAN BREAKS, PETER HOLMES, RUSSELL HUNTER, NARISSA KNIGHTS, GARETH MORGAN, CHERRY MORRIS, MICHAEL MURRAY, ROSEMARY MUSSELL, RONALD SCOTT-DODD, WILLIAM WALLIS, MICHAEL WARCHUS, GEORGINA WARD

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