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Chinchilla, figures in a classical landscape with ruins written in 1977 by Scottish playwright, translator and theatre director Robert David MacDonald [1] (1929-2004). A semi-fictitious account of the Ballet Russe and their founder Diaghilev [2] (the Chinchilla of the play's title) set on the Lido Beach in Venice, 1914. The action alternates between past, present and future, 1910-1929.

The original text

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

Performed at the People's Space in May 1980 directed by Richard Grant, who also designed the set and lighting, starring Duarte Sylwain as Chinchilla, Caroline Newby (Mimi), Chris Galloway (Levka), Ian Roberts (Gabriel), John Caviggia (Fedya), Anthony Hemmes (Ilya), Gavin van den Berg (Vatza), Jeni Gardner (Nina), Alastair Forsyth (Maxim), Stephen Brown (Konstantin), Nicholas Shepherd (Clorindo). Costumes designed by Jeni Halliday. This was a Troupe Theatre Company production.


Chinchilla theatre programme, 1980.

Die Burger 5 May 1980.

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