An Advertising Feature is created, supplied and paid for by a commercial client and promoted by The Irish Times Content Studio. The Irish Times newsroom or other editorial departments are not involved in the production of advertising features.

Experience Druid’s The Cherry Orchard on stage and the big screen

In a first for an Irish theatre company, Druid’s production of The Cherry Orchard will be live-streamed to cinemas across Ireland and the world, direct from Galway's Black Box Theatre 

Druid's production of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard

 

In December 2019, it was announced that Druid and Element Pictures would join forces to bring the 2020 production of The Cherry Orchard to cinemas around the world, making Druid the first Irish theatre company to do so. This project reinforces Druid’s vision of Irish performance for the world. The Cherry Orchard can be seen on Thursday, March 5 in 30 cinemas in Cork, Dublin, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Sligo, Waterford and Wexford and across the UK followed by a year-long programme of live-recorded showings internationally. 

What is a theatre live stream? 

First done in 2009 with National Theatre’s Phèdre, live-streaming has become one of the major developments in the theatre world in the past 25 years, attracting audiences of up to 550,000. 

The idea to live-stream a production is rooted in Druid’s passionate belief that audiences have a right to see first class theatre in their own communities. This platform will allow Druid to reach new audiences nationally and internationally, shining a spotlight on Irish theatre. Live-streaming has been lauded for making theatre more accessible and more affordable. This project will enable new and existing Druid audiences to see Irish theatre in their locality. It’s a cheap ticket for a front row seat. 

How does it work? 

Druid will collaborate with Serpent Productions, a UK-based production company behind the live stream performances of The Importance of Being Earnest, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera. A team from Serpent will attend The Cherry Orchard technical rehearsals in Galway and plan a camera script accordingly. On the 4th of March, five broadcasting trucks will arrive in Galway. The production will involve over 30 production staff and six cameras in order to capture all the action from the 19 actors on one of Druid’s largest ever sets. The production will be cut live and broadcast to the world from the Black Box Theatre. 

The production stars Derbhle Crotty. Photograph: Matthew Thompson
The production will star Derbhle Crotty. Photograph: Matthew Thompson

The audience members in the Black Box Theatre on 5th of March see the exact same performance as the audiences viewing from cinemas around the world. There are no edits or re-takes. Furthermore, the performance will not vary from any other performances in the run. Camera movements, close-ups of the cast, set and costumes, and sweeping views of the audience are just some of the elements that make this a really unique experience for both the theatre and cinema audiences. There is a sense of event with so many viewers tuning in from so many different venues.

What is The Cherry Orchard about? 

Bringing together one of the world’s great classic plays with one of Ireland’s greatest writers, Druid presents Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in a version by Tom Murphy. 

A play about land, legacy, and the struggle between tradition and change. A family return to their country estate in an attempt to halt its sale and clear their debts but solutions are scarce. Giving up their crumbling estate would solve their problems but would mean losing their beloved cherry orchard, a site of many childhood memories. They have a difficult decision to make and consequences to face. 

Directed by Garry Hynes, with the acclaimed creative team behind DruidShakespeare, this production will feature a large company of 19 actors, starring Derbhle Crotty and other leading members of the Druid Ensemble Garrett Lombard, Aaron Monaghan, Rory Nolan and Marty Rea, alongside Ian-Lloyd Anderson, Siobhán Cullen, Megan Cusack, Peter Daly, Rachel Feeney, Helen Norton and John Olohan. They will be joined by a Galway ensemble, Séamus Hughes, Delia Keane, Mary McHugh, Seán T. O’Meallaigh, Michael Rooney, Peter Shine and Ambre Shoneff. 

Druid’s production of The Cherry Orchard, will be the first major production of Tom Murphy’s work since his death in 2018. "A native of Galway and one of Ireland’s greatest writers, it feels right for Druid to revisit Tom Murphy’s work during Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture," says artistic director, Garry Hynes. "It is a privilege to have worked closely with Tom for so many years and a great honour to once again celebrate Tom’s work."

Where can I see it?

The Cherry Orchard will be live-streamed to cinemas on Thursday, March 5 at 7pm. You can book tickets for participating cinemas now.

See Druid.ie for more details.