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Caritas (1981), a little-known play by British playwright Arnold Wesker (born 1932) about an anchoress, one of those religious fanatics in the Middle Ages who had themselves walled up alone in a cell, attached to a church, in order to devote their lives to self-mortification and prayer. The chief character of Wesker’s Caritas is one, Christine Carpenter, who became an anchoress in 1329 in a Surrey village. Wesker places her in 1377 in Norfolk for dramatic purposes.

The original text

Published by Jonathan Cape, 1981.

Performance history in South Africa

1983: Presented by the University of the Orange Free State at the National Arts Festival Student Drama, 1983, directed by Adéle Fouché; set design, lighting and company manager Nico Luwes, set built by Francois Venter, stage manager Vanessa Rudman. Cast: Pamela Engelbrecht, Johan Myburg, Clive Chamberlin, Marius Meyer, Mareé Fouché, Beverly Groenewald, Vanessa Rudman, Ian Rhind, Jan Horn.


National Arts Festival programme, 1983.

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