Audio Drama Wiki

The Apple Orchard by John Fletcher
Adapted from Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard'
Directed at Pebble Mill by Nigel Bryant
Broadcast March 3, 1993 - BBC Radio 3
Length 90 minutes

Recording available at British Library Audio Collection and at Radio Archive:


Chekhov's 'Cherry Orchard' updated and moved to a post-apocalyptic Somerset with the humour which Russians say is usually missing from English translations of Chekhov.


  • Harold - Steven Tomlin
  • Sam - Tamsin Greig
  • Isabelle - Ann Firbank
  • Jonathon - Brett Usher
  • Vicar - Geoffrey Banks
  • Sam's Radio Contact - Joanna Miles

Critical Reception[]

"This tragi-comedy which upends the famous Russian cherry orchard and relocates it in a valley in Somerset, is a work of a writer the mention of whose name should be sufficient to set as many lights flashing in your mind as there are in the Blackpool Illuminations. John Fletcher won a 1990 Giles Cooper award with his fantasy Death and the Tango, one of the most astounding new plays ever broadcast on Radio 3…"[1]

"John Fletcher’s reweaving of Chekhov, with a setting in Somerset and a wry inversion of themes and values. This playwright is much prized by the radio drama department for his satiric gifts and power of descant inventively without seeming to preach."[2]


  1. The Times
  2. The Telegraph

Available on: