'n Seder Val in Waterkloof

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'n Seder Val in Waterkloof ("A Cedar Falls in Waterkloof") is an Afrikaans comedy by P.G. du Plessis (1934-2017).

Also the title 1978 the film by Tommie Meyer

The original text

An immensely popular Afrikaans farce by P.G. du Plessis about the pretentions of a Pretoria academic and the machinations of his "common" family from Krugersdorp who come to visit and upset the life of their "posh" academic colleague at his Waterkloof home, shortly before the elections for a position of chair of the Academy. The most successful and profitable play in history at the time, it was translated into English, filmed in Afrikaans by Franz Marx in 1978, and published by Tafelberg Publishers in 1977 (reprinted 1978).

Productions in Afrikaans

1975-6: Staged by PACT, directed by Francois Swart, with Johan Malherbe (J-D van Vuuren), Annette Engelbrecht (Sus van Vuuren), Elise Hibbert (Vredelief van Vuuren), Don Lamprecht (Ou-oom Tampan), Franz Marx (Van van Vuuren), Wilna Snyman (Sally van Vuuren), George Ballot (Archibald van Vuuren), Woutrine Theron (Mercia van Vuuren), Magda Beukes (Poppie Olivier), David van der Merwe (Prof Lategan) and Cobus Visser (Prof Vredenburg). Decor and costumes by Chris van den Bergin the Breytenback Theatre, Pretoria.

1977/78: Staged by CAPAB in the Nico Malan Theatre in December 1977, with a repeat season in January 1978. The production was directed by Pieter Fourie, with Pieter Joubert (J-D van Vuuren), Marga van Rooy (Sus van Vuuren), Tarina Kleyn/Mary Dreyer (Vredelief van Vuuren), Willem de la Querra (Ou-oom Tampan), Johan Botha (Van van Vuuren), Nerina Ferreira (Sally van Vuuren), Johan Esterhuizen (Archibald van Vuuren), Liz Dick (Mercia van Vuuren), Christine Basson (Poppie Olivier), Neels Coetzee (Prof Lategan) and Marko van der Colff (Prof Vredenburg). Decor by Raimond Schoop and lighting by John T. Baker.

1987: Directed by Francois Swart for TRUK Toneel, performed at the State Theatre Pretoria (11 August to 5 September) and the Civic Theatre Roodepoort 9 to 12 September), starring Louis van Niekerk, Christine Basson, Johan Malherbe, Gert van Niekerk. Design by Chris van den Berg.

2002: Staged at the Wynand Mouton Theatre during the Volksblad Kunstefees, directed by Nico Luwes starring himself, Gerben Kamper, Stef Brink and Pieter Venter.

2011: Revival by Impresario, directed by Albert Maritz, with Chris van Niekerk, Erica Wessels, Waldemar Schultz, Perlé van Schalkwyk, Jana Fischer, Petrus du Preez, Wessel Pretorius, Janel Jordaan, Lulu Botha, Francois Jacobs and Adriaan van As. Technical director: Gaerin Hauptfleisch and Design: Leopold Senekal, Gaerin Hauptfleisch and Albert Maritz. It opened at the Innibos festival as a tribute to the life and work of the author P.G. du Plessis.

English versions

An Oak falls in Bishopscourt

In the late 1970s Pieter Fourie commissioned Roy Sargeant to do the English translation and adaptation of the Afrikaans play for CAPAB Drama. It was then called An Oak falls in Bishopscourt. Then a theatrical scandal broke out, as the Board of CAPAB banned the staging of the English version of the play.

Send for Dolly

1980: Directed by Victor Melleney and staged at the Academy Theatre, with a cast that included Norman Coombes, Christine Basson, Flip Theron, Jacques Loots, Ann Larson, Willie Esterhuizen, Trish Downing, Joy Stewart Spence, Michelle Maxwell, Jack Payne and James Irwin. Later during the run Joy Stewart Spence was replaced by Melody O'Brian and Ann Larson by Tracey Morris.

1986: John Slemon snapped the play up and produced it at the Baxter Theatre (now called Send for Dolly), where it was a smash hit. The adaptation by Roy Sargeant was first performed on 2 July 1986 at the Baxter Theatre Concert Hall with James Irwin, Brenda Wood, Lynita Crofford, Graham Clarke, Brumilda van Rensburg, Ronald France, Christine Basson, Nico de Beer, Alida Labia, Richard Farmer and Don Maguire. Design by Peter Krummeck, directed by Don Maguire. Later, renamed Send for Dolly went on to create an unofficial South African record for a straight play when it ran for 48 weeks at the Academy Theatre in Johannesburg.

2004: Roy Sargeant and Brent Palmer updated the translation, translating it into English and Kaapse Engels ("Cape English"), and relocating it from Bishopscourt to Newlands, Cape Town. Ralph Lawson directed, set design by Keith Anderson, and starring Nazli George, Ivan Abrahams, and Royston Stoffels.

Filmed version

The play was filmed as 'n Seder Val in Waterkloof in 1978. Produced by Tommie Meyer, written by P.G. du Plessis, directed by Franz Marx, with Magda Beukes, Paul Malherbe, Wilna Snyman, Don Leonard, Woutrine Theron, Leonora Nel, Tarina Kleyn, Alex Heyns, Bill Flynn, Kristo Pienaar, P.W. Marais, Vera Johns, Volenté Bertotti and Pierre de Wet. Cinematography by Paul Marais and film Editing by Johan Lategan.


PACT theatre programme, 1975.

Pretoria News, 5 January 1976.

CAPAB theatre programme, 1977.

Baxter theatre programme, 1986.

LitNet review by Paul Boekkooi[1]

Cape Times 15 December 2004.


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