Croft to direct Chekhov as his Playhouse swansong

Giles Croft''Nottingham Playhouse
Giles Croft''Nottingham Playhouse

Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard is to be the last play Giles Croft directs as artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse.

After 18 years at the theatre, Giles Croft will be stepping down as artistic director, but not before directing The Cherry Orchard, running from November 3-18.

Anton Chekhov’s last and greatest play tells the story of a family on the edge of ruin and a country on the brink of revolution.

When Ranevskaya returns to her country home – with its famous orchard – she is torn between its past and the future. By turns tragic and funny, this new version by Olivier Award-winner Simon Stephens (A Doll’s House, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), is both dynamic and profound.

Giles Croft has chosen this masterpiece as his final play – and first Chekhov – as artistic director. He leaves a legacy of productions, including Polygraph, Rat Pack Confidential, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Ashes, Tony’s Last Tape, Any Means Necessary and The Kite Runner.

Giles said: “During my time at Nottingham Playhouse, I have been fortunate enough to direct work by writers as varied as Robert Lepage, Henrik Ibsen and Noel Coward so when thinking about what would be my final production I was unsure of where to begin.

“I knew that it had to be a play that I love, that it should be connected with the theme of change and would also present me with a new challenge.

“I have never directed Chekhov, I love The Cherry Orchard and is there a better play about change? I am 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.”

Stephanie Sirr, chief executive of Nottingham Playhouse said: “As ever, Giles has put together a really compelling season for us to enjoy. Finishing his tenure as Artistic Director with one of the world’s greatest plays – The Cherry Orchard – feels both ambitious and very fitting. I can’t wait to see it.”

For more details on the production, call the box office on 0115 9419419 or go to