Christiaan de Wet Marais

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Christiaan de Wet Marais (1903–1972) was a pharmacist, translator and an occasional actor.

Also found as C. de Wet Marais.


Born Christiaan de Wet Marais on 11 September 1903, he later became a pharmacist, for a while in resident in Bloemfontein, later in Braamfontein,Johannesburg.

In 1936 Marais married the Dutch-born Anna Christina Snoek (1903-1941), who had appeared on the stage with him in the Bloemfontein production of Joan Woutersz.

He died on 12 January, 1972 and he and his wife are buried in the Braamfontein Cemetery.

Contributions to South African theatre, film, media and performance

He appears to have been an avid theatre and film enthusiast, both acting in plays and films and and translating dramatic works.

Ludwig Binge calls him a "staatmaker" ("reliable member") of the Die Hanekom Geselskap and later of Die Hanekoms se Toneelskool, the theatre school founded in Bloemfontein by Hendrik Hanekom in 1932.

He is specifically mentioned as a leading actor in the five act drama Joan Woutersz by the Dutch dramatist Hendrik Jan Schimmel, which was performed in the Grand Theatre in Bloemfontein in 1933 as part of the Orange Free State's contribution to the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of William of Orange in the Netherlands. The play was produced by Willem Frederik Mondriaan, a Dutch-born journalist and the brother of the great modernist painter Piet Mondriaan, with Christiaan de Wet Marais in the leading role, and a cast that also featured Marais's future wife.

He translated the play Three Wise Fools by Austin Strong into Afrikaans and as Die Drie Wyse Dwase it was produced by Johanna van Vuuren by the Kaapstadse Afrikaanse Toneelvereniging at the Afrikaner Koffiehuis in June 1937.

The following year (1938) he played the role of Governor "Willem Adriaan van der Stel" in the film Die Bou van 'n Nasie (Joseph Albrecht/Andries A. Pienaar).

In 1946 he appeared on the stage in the Emlyn Williams adaptation of Turgenev’s A Month in the Country. It had an illustrious cast and was staged at the Standard Theatre in Johannesburg and the Alhambra Theatre in Cape Town.

He also acted in three more films: Pinkie se Erfenis (Pierre de Wet/1946), Geboortegrond (Pierre de Wet/1946) and Pantoffel-regering (Ronald Brantford/1947).



South African Opinion, 3(4):23

Trek, 11(3):18, 1946.

L.W.B. Binge. 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950), J.L. van Schaik (1969)

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