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Local Cast Reunited After 25 Years!

Some of 'The Cherry Orchard' cast back in 2000, acting in 'As You Like It'.

The Cherry Orchard, A Bear Pit Theatre Company Production. 24 – 28 October 2023.

From As You Like It to The Cherry Orchard: local cast is reunited after 25 years!

Nearly 25 years after they first trod the boards together, five local actors will be reuniting at The Bear Pit next week.

In July 2000, Kevin Hand, Tony Homer, Penny Sandle-Keynes (then Penny Peters), Graham Tyrer and Chris Dobson performed in As You Like It in the gardens of Hall’s Croft. The Second Thoughts Drama Group production was a sell-out success both on and off-stage – it was where Chris met his now wife!

Nearly a quarter of a century on, and five members of the Shakespeare cast are hoping to recreate the success of the production – this time with Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, at The Bear Pit from 24 to 28 October.

Back in the year 2000.

“We all have such fond memories of As You Like It,” says Penny, who played Rosalind in the Shakespeare play and will be playing Madame Ranyevskaya in The Cherry Orchard. “It was great fun to work with such a talented cast. I can’t believe I get the opportunity to revisit the experience! We’re all a bit more wrinkly, and there might be a few more grey hairs than we’d like, but we’ve still got what it takes to stage a sensational show!”

The current production.

And Chris, who played Orlando in 2000 and will now be playing Lopakhin, agrees: “In many ways, The Cherry Orchard is the perfect play to reunite this cast. Chekhov’s play is all about remembering the past and embracing the future. A lot has happened in the past quarter century, and times are very different, but the talent of Stratford’s amateur theatre scene is a constant. This is going to be great fun!”

As you Like it - 25 years ago.

The Cherry Orchard is set in Russia 1904, Mme Ranyevskya returns to her estate following a five year absence, to discover her property and beloved cherry orchard - a nostalgic childhood sanctuary, is to be auctioned off to pay the family debts.

Lopakhin, the son of peasants now a successful business man offers to help the woman he has loved since boyhood. In denial she continues living in the past with ruinous consequences.

Chekhov’s masterpiece is an exploration of loss, love a disparity of class and a fascinating insight to a changing society. You'll find absorbing characters, beautiful costumes and poignant humour.

For tickets and more information, visit:


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