On the Lake

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On the Lake is a play for five actresses by Reza de Wet (1952-2012).

The original text

Inspired by the Chekhov play The Seagull, the play revolves largely around around the re-staging of the Symbolist play-within-a-play performed in Chekhov's The Seagull, and one absent character: "Kostia", whose suicide ten years before still leaves indelible marks on the women of the play. Nina's need to free herself from the constraints of her naturalistic role exposes the tensions beneath the surface of the Chekhovian world.

The text published in the collection De Wet: A Russian Trilogy (Oberon Books, 2002).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

2001: Presented by the First Physical Theatre Company, directed by the author, at the National Arts Festival, 2001, starring Brink Scholtz (Nina), Annelisa Weiland (Madame Arkadina), Grethe Fox (Polina), Lucy Wylde and Anna-Karien Otto. The play was done back-to-back at the festival with another version, devised and performed by the First Physical Theatre Company and entitled lake…beneath the surface.

International productions

2010: Performed at the Stella Adler Drama School, New York, in February 2010.

2013: Performed in Guernsey during February.


Rhodes University Drama Department Annual Review, 2001, p.4.

Die Beeld 26 June 2001.

Photograph of members of the cast held by NELM.

Gordon Dickerson. 2018. Personal correspondence with Temple Hauptfleisch.

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