Written by Anton Chekhov
Directed by Brian Molloy
Performed in the Maureen O'Hara Studio of the Mill Theatre from 27 to 29 January 2015
Anton Chekhov cast more than the occasional jaundiced eye on matters of the heart; and he seems to have enjoyed pointing a satirical pen at them. One such comedy is 'The Proposal', his short play about the institution of marriage. It was written at a time when walking down the aisle was considered an economic necessity, entered into more for financial security than love, or the desire to grow an extended family. Chekhov's fast-paced one act comedy has remained popular with actors and audiences since it was first performed towards the end of the 19th century.
Anton Chekhov 1860-1904
Brian Molloy adapted 'The Proposal' and directed his version of the play as the Balally Players entry in the Bray Festival on Friday 30 January.
Before its festival performance on Friday 30 January, the play was in the Maureen O'Hara Studio of the Mill Theatre from 27 to 29 January.
The title of the play in English is often translated as 'The Proposal', but sometimes as 'A Marriage Proposal. This one-act farce was written by Chekhov in 1888-1889 and first performed in 1890.
'The Proposal' was successful in its first runs in St. Petersburg and Moscow, and very soon after that, it was performed to appreciative audiences in small towns across Russia.
Apparently, his regal majesty Tsar Alexander III enjoyed the play when he attended a performance — or perhaps that should read, when the play visited him. However, Chekhov believed that far from being taken seriously, farces should not be considered to have much literary value — they are, after all, written for fun. It is said that he called 'The Proposal' a "wretched, boring, vulgar little skit."
This adaptation by Brian Molloy and the performances by this cast set out unashamedly to make it a barrel of laughs!
Stepan Stepanovitch Chubokov
Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov
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