Plum role for Sara in Nottingham’s Cherry Orchard

Steve Orme

Sara Stewart, currently playing Susie Parks in the BBC1 thriller Doctor Foster, will play Ranevskaya in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, Giles Croft’s final production as artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse.

Her theatre appearances include Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies at London’s Park Theatre in 2015, Myra Arundel in Noël Coward’s Hay Fever at the Duke of York's Theatre, also in 2015, and Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money at Birmingham REP in 2009.

The play also features two well-known faces in Nottingham: Kenneth Alan Taylor, the theatre’s artistic director for seven years from 1984, who still writes and directs the Playhouse’s panto, appears as Firs and John Elkington, a Nottingham Playhouse panto regular who played Frederick Fellowes in the theatre’s 2016 production of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, plays Lopakhin.

The cast also includes Claire Storey (Charlotta Ivanovna), Jamie de Courcey (Peter Trofimov), Graham Butler (Yasha), Babirye Bukilwa (Varya), Jonathan Oliver (Boris Simeonov-Pishchik), Evlyne Oyedokun (Anya), Robin Kingsland (Leonid Gayev), Patrick Osborne (Simeon Yepikhodov), Sasha Frost (Dunyasha) and Rob Goll (Lev the station master / traveller).

The Cherry Orchard tells the story of a family on the edge of ruin and a country on the brink of revolution. This new version by Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens, best known for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is “both dynamic and profound”. It will be Croft’s first Chekhov.

The Cherry Orchard runs at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 3 until Saturday 18 November. Press night will be Tuesday 7 November.