The Cherry Orchard

By Anton Tchekhov

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2021 archive

Tiago Rodrigues

Lisbon - Avignon / Created in 2021

In this Chekhov play, Tiago Rodrigues has found great material with which to fuel his dramatic machine, break the fourth wall, and bring the audience together around the great challenges of today.

The Cherry Orchard, Tiago Rodrigues, 2021 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


After long years spent in exile in Paris, Lyubov, a strange and elusive woman, returns to her ancestral estate, about to be sold to pay off the family’s debts. As the centre around which the play revolves, forever oscillating between tragedy and comedy, this maternal figure, this mater dolorosa, played by Isabelle Huppert, returns to a family unsettled by the future of the estate, and more largely, by that of this world she left behind. Modern society, with its social changes, is right around the corner, noisily announcing its arrival. When he thinks of The Cherry Orchard, Tiago Rodrigues has a secret tempo in mind, allegro vivace, and is convinced that the Russian master’s last play is about the energy with which “the inescapable power of change” propels the characters from one act to the next. If, along with his cast and crew, he decided to explore the anxiety, reactions, and counter-reactions this change causes, he also wanted to study the hopes any new world carries within in, even as no one can truly understand them yet. In Chekhov’s words, the director found precious material with which to fuel his dramatic machine, break the fourth wall, and bring the audience together around the great challenges of today.

A physician by training, Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) is the most famous poet in Russian literature. A fervent believer in progress and happiness, his lucidity and his rejection of illusions about men, society, or religion, were the basis for his work, and led to a renewal in the understanding of theatre at the time.


With Isabelle Huppert, Isabel Abreu, Tom Adjibi, Nadim Ahmed, Suzanne Aubert, Marcel Bozonnet, Océane Cairaty, Alex Descas, Adama Diop, David Geselson, Grégoire Monsaingeon, Alison Valence
Et Manuela Azevedo, Hélder Gonçalves (musicians)

Text Anton Tchekhov
Translation André Markowicz and Françoise Morvan
Translation in english for the surtitles Panthéa
Direction Tiago Rodrigues
Artistic collaboration Magda Bizarro
Stage design Fernando Ribeiro
Lights Nuno Meira
Costumes José António Tenente
Mae-up, hair dressing Sylvie Cailler, Jocelyne Milazzo
Music Hélder Goncalves (composition), Tiago Rodrigues (lyrics)
Sound Pedro Costa
Assistant direction Ilyas Mettioui


Production Festival d’Avignon
Co-production Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, Teatro Nacional D. Maria II , Théâtre National Populaire de Villeurbanne, Comédie de Genève, La Coursive Scène nationale de la Rochelle, Wiener Festwochen, Comédie de Clermont Ferrand, National Taichung Theater (Taiwan), Teatro di Napoli – Teatro Nazionale, Fondazione Campania Dei Festival – Compania Teatro Festival, Théâtre de Liège, DC&J Création, Holland Festival, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
With the support of the Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian and the Spedidam for the 75th edition of the Festival d'Avignon, Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and Inver Tax Shelter
Set construction Ateliers du Festival d'Avignon
Costumes manufacture Atelier du TNP de Villeurbanne
With the artistic participation of the Jeune Théâtre Populaire
Residencies La FabricA du Festival d’Avignon, Odéon - Théâtre de l’Europe
In partnership with France Médias Monde

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The 2021 archive