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Thursday, August 8, 2013


(Kagisho Tsimikwane as Chubukov, Tevin Kunene as Lomov and Buhle Mazibuko as Natalya. Pic by Val Adamson)

The innovative and always busy Drama Department at DUT is staging a frothy, one-act, three-hander farce, Anton Chekhov’s The Proposal, which comes to the Courtyard Theatre, DUT from August 12 to16.

Written by famed Russian writer, Anton Chekhov in 1888-1889 and first performed in 1890, The Proposal (sometimes translated from Russian as The Marriage Proposal) tells the story of love, marriage, hypochondria ..... and neighbourly disputes.

“The play deals with people’s inability to be honest or straightforward, or to see other points of view” says director Brian Pierce. “Chekhov has a wonderful aptitude for tragi-comedy. The more serious the characters are, the funnier they become. The play teaches us to look at the funny side of situations that could otherwise tear relationships apart.”

The Proposal features three talented young actors who are in their 2nd and 3rd years of Drama Studies at DUT, with lighting by Mthandazo Mofokeng and costume design by Elishah Eswardutt.

Lomov (Tevin Kunene), a young man, visits his neighbour, Chubukov (Kagisho Tsimikwane), to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Chubukov is delighted and immediately agrees. He calls his daughter, Natalya (Buhle Mazibuko), into the room and leaves her with Lomov. While attempting to propose to Natalya, Lomov becomes nervous and starts to digress. The couple then start arguing over a disputed piece of land between their respective properties called Oxen Meadows and before Lomov can propose, the argument escalates until Lomov starts suffering from heart palpitations and leaves.

Seeing Lomov leaving, Chubukov asks his daughter if he accepted the proposal, at which point Natalya realises her mistake and begs her father to call Lomov back. Lomov returns but the couple then start another argument, this time about their dogs ....

The Proposal runs at The Courtyard Theatre, Durban University of Technology, Mansfield Road, from August 12 to 16 at 18h00. Tickets R20. The performance lasts one hour, with no interval. Booking through Lebohang on 031 373 2194 or at the door.