Saturday, 30 May 2009
The Proposal: a Jest in one Act, by Anton Chekhov. When Ivan Vassilyevitch Lomov, a wealthy landowner, visits his equally wealthy neighbour, Stepan Stepanovitch Tchubukov it is to ask for the daughter’s hand in marriage. Tchubukov can only be pleased to be rid of his ageing maidenly daughter, Natalya Stepanovna but Lomov, an easily excitable hypochondriac must first overcome hurdles with the spirited Natalya.
From disputes over family land and squabbles over the superior qualities of their hunting dogs, any fragile hopes for a happy marriage are threatened. Chekhov’s sketch is a farce on the challenges of courtship, ownership and happy endings.
ACTS presents a strange meeting of minds, bodies & music, amongst the Anglophone ex-patriots in 1920s Paris. The core group of eccentric radicals used the famous bookstore; Sylvia Beach’s, Shakespeare & Company as their unofficial headquarters.
But, despite the libertine climate of 1920’s Paris, Sylvia Beach, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, James Joyce, Djuna Barnes, and other avant-garde spirits of Gertrude Stein’s ‘Lost Generation’, are not only watched over by a mysterious FBI secret agent, but are drawn into strange confrontations as they return to haunt European audiences in 2009.
Two English jewel thieves on the run from the police take refuge in an Amsterdam brothel, marking the start of a farcical comedy complete with much gender-crossing identity confusion.