Scales Stars in Comic Cherry Orchard TourDate: 19 April 2000
Prunella Scales will star in a new touring production of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. The English Touring Theatre production, in a new translation by Stephen Mulrine, directed by Stephen Unwin, opens at Malvern's Forum Theatre on 25 April and continues until 1 July 2000 to a further eight regional theatres.
Scales, who plays Madame Ranevskaya, is one of Britain's leading comic actresses. She was last seen on stage in last year's revival of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, which toured nationwide before transferring to the West End's Piccadilly Theatre. Her many other stage credits include, most recently, Long Day's Journey into Night, School for Scandal and Just the Three of Us. On film, her most recent credits include An Ideal Husband and Stiff Upper Lips.
The Cherry Orchard premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904, on Chekhov's 44th birthday and only six months before his death. Despite his modern reputation for melodrama, Chekhov insisted at the time that the play should be treated as 'a light comedy'. It is this element which Unwin brings to the fore in his new production.
Scales is joined in the cast by Michael Cronin,, Michael Feast, Clare Calbraith, Frank Middlemass and John Quentin. The Cherry Orchard is designed by Pamela Howard.
Under the artistic direction of Unwin, English Touring Theatre has developed a reputation for high quality and diverse work, ranging from world classics, often in new translation, to premieres by new writers. Recent productions include Hamlet, As You Like It, Hedda Gabbler, Henry IV Parts I and II, the world premieres of Jonathan Harvey's Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club and Hushabye Mountain and, most recently, The Master Builder.
Following Malvern, The Cherry Orchard tours to Oxford, Crewe, Cambridge, Guildford, Manchester, Bath, Richmond and Greenwich.