The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard

By Anton Chekhov
A new version by John Byrne
Directed by Tony Cownie

Family. Politics. Class. Revolution.

Social comedy. A grand Scottish family find their home and estate under threat from property developers and the modern world.

John Byrne (Uncle Varick, Tutti Frutti, The Slab Boys) once again turns his renowned talents to the work of Chekhov in this gentle comedy of social upheaval. Here John retains the main plot of the original but relocates the action to Scotland in the late 1970s. In doing so he crafts a wonderful retelling of this classic tale.

In the far Northeast, time is almost up for the Ramsay-Mackays – their grand old house and the wonderful cherry orchard that goes with it are all that is left of their once-large fortune – and the vultures are circling...

Malky McCracken is an up-and-coming young investor, eager to free himself from his working class roots and make his name as a serious businessman. His zealous pursuit of the estate is countered by his fondness for the family themselves, not least adopted daughter Mhairi.

A comic and moving examination of a family, and those who surround it, revealing personal absurdities and tragedies in equal measure. John Byrne’s new adaptation and Tony Cownie’s direction mine the richness of Chekhov’s tale to present a play of truly great characters.

Cast and Credits

The cast of The Cherry Orchard

Mrs Ramsay-Mackay - Maureen Beattie
Malky McCracken - Andy Clark
Ainsley - Hannah Donaldson
Mhairi - Lesley Hart
Guy Ramsay - Philip Bird
Bobby Wishart - John Ramage
Trotter - Matthew Pidgeon            
Charlotte - Myra McFadyen
Dolina - Nicola Roy
Cluny - John Kielty
Fintry - Ralph Riach
Sorley Shanks - Grant O'Rourke

The creative team of The Cherry Orchard

Director - Tony Cownie
Writer and Costume Designer - John Byrne
Set and Costume Designer - Michael Taylor
Lighting Designer - Jeanine Davies


Watch our trailer for The Cherry Orchard

Watch and Listen - View more content here

Dates, Times & Prices

This production has now ended

Press Coverage


The Times ★★★★★ (sorry, no link available)
"...tremendous ensemble cast...full of stand-out performances..."

Edinburgh ★★★★★
"The cast are wonderful beyond comprehension... moments of rib-breaking hilarity... Simply outstanding"

The Scotsman ★★★★
"Maureen Beattie's Mrs Ramsay-Mackay (Ranevskaya) is a masterpiece of elegance and warmth, a memorable portrait of an intelligent and passionate woman"

The Herald ★★★★
"a searing slice of social commentary"

Financial Times ★★★★
"laced with wicked humour... a sharp and funny production"

The Guardian ★★★★
"invigorating and very funny"

Sunday Times ★★★★
"What John Byrne has written is both homage and a loving challenge to Chekhov"

The List ★★★★
"John Byrne’s bold new adaptation"

Edinburgh Spotlight ★★★★
"delightfully entertaining and amusing... a fitting finale to the Lyceum’s excellent 09/10 season"

TV Bomb ★★★★
"[a] finely balanced mixture of comedy and pathos"

Onstage Scotland - don't do stars
"Vibrant, modern and relevant ... it’s hard to find fault with this stellar production"


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