I was really going to write a lighthearted blog post this time. Review some games I binged on with my family over the last week or something along those lines.
And then I remembered this is the last week Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard is on at the Bristol Old Vic… and I rewatched the animation I made for their promotional campaign.
And I realized how much I want to keep quiet about it. I don’t actually want anyone to see it - not just because my animation skills are still quite basic, but mostly because the subject still hurts.
The Cherry Orchard is a play about change. About the inevitability of personal and social change, and the necessity to embrace it. And change always hurts.
The characters all deal with change in different ways. Some ignore it. Some see the opportunities in it. Some embrace change excitedly and move on.
The fact is, you can’t run away from change. You can only go on pretending for so long.
Letting go is hard. Moving on is hard. And things are ever-changing and you have to make sense of things again and again. You can only survive if you have a certain flexibility. It’s tiring, it’s stressful. It’s disorientating.
I’m not surprised that the characters in the play who deal with it the most successfully, have a sort of lodestar to help them move through the uncertainty - they have a vision, they have faith in something bigger than themselves, they have their idealism:
“Happiness is here. Here it comes, nearer, ever nearer. Already I hear its footsteps. And if we never see it, if we never know it, what does that matter? Others will see it. “ (Trofimov, Act II, The Cherry Orchard)
I love this play, because I can really feel it. I can feel the tragedy, the fear of change, the heaviness, the grief and loss … and yet, there is hope. It’s all up to us. We can’t choose the cards we’re dealt, but we can choose how to play them.
If you’re in or near Bristol, go and see The Cherry Orchard.
Old Vic Thu 1 Mar – Sat 7 Apr