Cherry Orchard sky
An Irish theatre first — the wonderful Druid theatre company live-streamed to cinemas from the Black Box Theatre in Galway their new production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard in a version by Tom Murphy directed by Druid's amazing founder Garry Hynes.
The screening began at 7pm. Allowing for evening rush-hour traffic I left home at 5 to cross the city to the Odeon cinema in Stillorgan. It was just as well that I left that early, since there was a traffic snarl-up on the Merrion Road which Google Maps cheerily warned me would add fifteen to my journey time. It was 6:15 by the time I approached the Stillorgan junction, by which time the sky was adding its own touch of drama as a prelude.
I used go to the screenings from the Met in New York but haven't for the past few seasons because the cinema experience has been unsettling, what with the sound being set at an uncomfortable level, the video direction involving too many close-ups looking at singers' tonsils and a tacky sports-event-style stick-a-mike-in-the-face-as-soon-as-the-singers-come-off--the-stage approach to interval interviews. Fortunately, none of those problems plagued Druid's streaming — in fact, the videography was on the same high level as the acting and direction.
I went with Carl's mum. She'd expressed a preference for the cinema experience rather than seeing it live on stage when it comes to Dublin in April. The live-theatre option was the preference for our Chew-and-Chat pal Tom, though, so I'm treating myself to a double dose of Chekhov. The theatrical experience is on 10th April. I'm looking forward to it.