Croft leaves Nottingham with Cherry Orchard

Steve Orme

Giles Croft bows out as artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse with The Cherry Orchard, the first time he has directed a Chekhov play.

Croft, who has had the job for 18 years, said, “I love The Cherry Orchard and is there a better play about change? I‘m also delighted to be using Simon Stephens’s sharp, bright and lucid version which connects me to another important strand of work during my time at Nottingham Playhouse: living playwrights. All in all, the perfect valedictory production.”

Sara Stewart who played Susie Parks in the BBC1 thriller Doctor Foster, will play Ranevskaya. 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.

Kenneth Alan Taylor, Nottingham Playhouse’s artistic director for seven years from 1984, who still writes and directs the Playhouse’s panto, plays 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, is 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 runs at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 3 until Saturday 18 November. Press night will be Tuesday 7 November.