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Monday, August 12, 2013


(Tevin Kunene as Lomov and Buhle Mazibuko as Natalya. Pic by Val Adamson)

Uncomplicated and whimsical work offers good down to earth entertainment. (Review by Keith Millar)

In recent times I have been fortunate enough to attend several productions staged by the Durban University of Technology’s Department of Drama and Production Studies at the Courtyard Theatre on the campus.

On each occasion I have been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the work being produced by the staff and students of this institution.

This standard has been maintained with their latest production which is an excellent presentation of Anton Chekhov’s delightful farce, The Proposal.

The Proposal is a one act play set in Russia late in the 19th century. It is a simple tale in which a young man (Lomov) wishes to propose marriage to the daughter (Natalya) of his neighbour (Stepan). Lomov obtains Stephan’s permission, but every time he attempts to propose to Natalya they lapse into arguments over unrelated issues. In the end you are left wondering if they will ever get married or, if they do, what would the marriage be like.

The central character of Lomov is played with some aplomb by Tevin Kunene. It is a plum role as Lomov is a hypochondriac and as the pressure mounts on him he suffers from all sorts of maladies from heart palpitations to the vapours. Kunene makes the most of the comic possibilities of the situation and delivers a first-rate performance.

Kagisho Tsimakwane puts in a strong comedy performance as the elderly and blustering father, Stepan. Buhle Mazibuko as Natalya comes across as a feisty young lady who is eager to be married if only she can get Lomov to listen to her. Direction of the production is by Brian Pearce.

The Proposal is an uncomplicated and whimsical work. It is quite charming and very amusing, and offers good down to earth entertainment. Well worth a visit to the Courtyard Theatre.

The Proposal runs nightly at 18h00 until August 16 at the Courtyard Theatre, Gate 7, Ritson Campus, Steve Biko Road. Safe parking is available at Gate 4, Steve Biko Campus, opposite the Courtyard Theatre. Tickets R20 at the door. For more details phone Lebohang Sibisi on 031 373 2194. – Keith Millar