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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

I Love Thee

One-act plays
The Bear and A Marriage Proposal and stage adaptations of short stories
A Joke and Misery
Lyrical farce

Opening 28 January 2011
The title I Love Thee brings together Chekhov’s one-act plays The Bear and A Marriage Proposal, and stage adaptations of his short stories A Joke and Misery. The point of departure
in combining Chekhov’s drama and short fiction was to create an intimate tragic comedy to
showcase Chekhov’s mastery in fiction and playwriting, both of which are characterized by his deep feeling, a sense of human suffering and subtlety in depicting comic characters and everyday situations.
The decision to combine Chekhov’s short fiction and plays was made by director Nikola
Zavišić, and arose out of the same emotional depth and subject matter shared by Chekhov’s
short fiction and plays. The dramaturgical structure of I Love Thee is based on his short story Misery in which Iona Potapov, the sledge-driver, drives his sledge all over snowbound Petersburg and tries to strike a conversation with his patrons to pour out his grief over the loss of his recently deceased son. His patrons, however, are constantly ‘departing’ into their own stories and new dramatic situations.
The use of dramaturgy to link Chekhov’s plays results in a solid narrative structure, and
allows the emergence of a profoundly emotional and comic play about human relations.

One-act plays translated by Mile Klopčič

Short stories translated by Tina Kosi

Text adapted and directed by Nikola Zavišić

Dramaturg Urška Brodar

Set Design Concept by Nikola Zavišić

Costume Designer Mateja Benedetti

Composer Sonja Lončar

Language Consultant Jože Volk

Light Designer Nikola Zavišić



Iona Miro Podjed

Elena Ivanovna Popova, a landowning widow,

with dimples on her cheeks Jagoda

Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov, a middle-aged

landowner Vojko Belšak

Luka, Popova’s aged footman Igor Sancin

Yegor Pavlovich, a narrator Andrej Murenc

Nadyezhda Petrovna Ana Ruter

Stepan Stepanovich Chubukov, a landowner

Igor Žužek

Natalia Stepanovna, his daughter Barbara


Ivan Vassilievich Lomov, a neighbour of Chubukov,

a large and hearty, but very suspicious landowner,

who imagines being ill Tarek Rashid

Hunchback Mario Šelih

  • Ana Ruter

  • Ana Ruter, Andrej Murenc

  • Andrej Murenc, Ana Ruter

  • Barbara Medvešček, Tarek Rashid, Igor Žužek

  • Jagoda, Igor Sancin

  • Jagoda, Vojko Belšak, Igor Sancin

  • Mario Šelih, Miro Podjed, Tarek Rashid

  • Tarek Rashid, Barbara Medvešček, Igor Žužek

  • Vojko Belšak, Igor Sancin