ROOTED WITH CHARM
If you’re like most city dwellers and would rather kick out a stool from beneath your feet with a tight noose wrapped tightly around your neck rather than sit through another Canadian farm debt story, fortune is smiling down on you in The Orchard (After Chekov).
That’s because this is just a single layer to a simple drama that involves much more than falling behind on bank payments unless a bumper crop can clear the family out of arrears.
This element alone is what makes Sarena Parmar an ultra-promising storyteller for her time. Yes, borrowing from personal family experiences of being an South Asian family dropped into British Columbia’s Okanagan region where cherries are more desirable than crude oil, gives her a competitive advantage seeking out low-hanging narrative fruit.
But for a playwright that doesn’t overwrite scenes or conversations combined with director Ravi Jain’s natural ability to make you adore otherwise ordinary characters is what truly makes The Orchard a rich, cultural mosaic experience like no other as the Shaw Festival shows off vibrant colours of diversity in this preeminent agricultural setting production.
The playwright plants her offering with seeds of a drown son, a real estate opportunist that sees big dollars on the horizon, and a mother’s return from India to bring about a solution that makes sense for a better tomorrow . The end result is a story harvest that produces anti-complicated plot points for out of country visitors providing a crystal clear perspective of heritage in Canada.
‘Without the orchard, who am I?’ ponders Loveleen played by the distinguished Pamela Sinha. It’s these kinds of questions that lend itself to the idea of family values and the magnitude of community as a whole.
Gorgeous, charming, and absolving, this one is well worth working the land for.
THE ORCHARD (AFTER CHEKHOV) by Sarena Parmar June 7 – September 1, 2018 SHAW FESTIVAL, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario TICKETS www.shawfest.com 1-800—511-SHAW $25.00 – $117.00 CAST David Adams, Shawn Ahmed, Neil Barclay, Rong Fu, Krystal Kiran, Jani Lauzon, Andrew Lawrie, Jeff Meadows, Sarena Parmar, Pamela Sinha, Sanjay Talwar and Kelly Wong DIRECTOR Ravi Jain SET AND COSTUMES Camellia Koo LIGHTING Andre du Toit ORIGINAL MUSIC Debashis Sinha