At Home

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At Home is the general title found for the public lectures given by Mark Twain (1835–1910)[1] on his 1896 visit to South Africa.

Probably billed as Mark Twain At Home or At Home with Mark Twain on occasion.

The original text

Translations and adaptations

The most widely known adapted version of this series of talks is most probably Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain Tonight![2], though there have numerous similar programmes over the years by various actors.

In South Africa Percy Sieff developed a similar programme called Sincerely Yours, Mark Twain, which became a long-term vehicle for Sieff, who took this one-man show on Mark Twain across the globe, right into the late 1990s.

A play called One for the Road to Damaskus[3] by Temple Hauptfleisch (1945-) is based on a (fictional) chance meeting that takes place between Twain and the young South African writer C.J. Langenhoven, on the evening of Twain's performance in Cape Town, and contains adapted excerpts from Twain's talks.

Performance history in South Africa

1896: Twain appeared in his At Home programme in the Theatre Royal, Durban (); Caledonian Hall, Pretoria (May); Standard Theatre, Johannesburg (May); the Bloemfontein City Hall (May?); the Queenstown Town Hall (June); the Mutual Hall on Market Square, East London (June); King William’s Town Theatre (June); the Albany Drill Hall, Grahamstown (June); the Port Elizabeth City Hall (June); the Opera House, Cape Town (3 performances, July); the Town Hall of the suburb of Claremont, Cape Town (3 performances, July);


D.C. Boonzaier. 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.404

Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg: p.120

Robert Cooper. 2000. Around the World with Mark Twain. Arcade Publishing

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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