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Alcestis (Ἄλκηστις) is a Greek play by the Euripides (c. 480 – c. 406 BC)[1].

The original text

The plot deals with an ancient legend which told how King Admetus of Thessaly was told by the Fates that death would spare him for a time if he could find some person willing to go to Hades in his place. After a long search only his loyal wife Alcestis was willing to do so.

It was first produced in 438 B.BC.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English as Alcestis

Translated into Afrikaans as Alkestis by Don Lamprecht and Aart de Villiers.

A number of adaptations have been made of the play: The Cocktail Party by T.S. Eliot; Not to Die Today by

Performance history in South Africa

1930's: Produced by Rose Ehrlich in Bloemfontein in the 1930s starring Gert Borstlap.

circa 1943-46: Produced by Honor Edmonds for the Grahamstown Training College.

1950: Alkestis presented by East London Technical College Drama Club.


World Drama by Allardyce Nicoll, 1949. 76-77.

Arts Theatre Club archive held by George Mountjoy.

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