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Christine is an Afrikaans play by Bartho Smit. A highly controversial play about an Afrikaner artist haunted by his betrayal of his Jewish lover to the Nazi’s. Originally commissioned by CAPAB for the opening of the Nico Malan Theatre Complex in Cape Town in 1971, it was banned by the Administrator of the Cape Province (in his capacity as chairman of the CAPAB Board) at the last minute, and shelved for a later possible workshop production, which never happened. It was eventually staged in 1973, by PACT.

First published by Tafelberg Publishers in 1971.

Performance history in South Africa

1973: Finally it was directed by Francois Swart for PACT in 1973 with Tine Balder (Christine), Sandra Prinsloo (Die Meisie), Don Lamprecht (Die Man) and Louis van Niekerk (Paul Harmse). (The Pretoria run was threatened with banning unless certain changes were made.)

1987: Christine opened for CAPAB at the Arena Theatre of the Nico Malan Theatre Complex in an experimental production by Esther van Ryswyk on 26 May, a month after the author's death. The director was assisted by Fiona Coyne, the set designed by David van Rijswijk, lighting by Pieter de Swardt. Babs Laker played Christine, Percy Sieff Paul Harmse, Marion Holm was Die Meisie and Willie Fritz Die Man.

1989: Staged by PACT, directed by Lucille Gillwald, featuring Cobus Rossouw (Paul Harmse), Sandra Prinsloo (Christine), Ronel Kriel (Die Meisie), and Ben Kruger (Die Man). Design by Nadya Cohen.

1990: Staged by PACOFS, directed by Gerben Kamper, featuring Ernst Eloff (Paul Harmse), Petru Wessels (Christine), Dorette Nel (Die Meisie), and Hennie Baird (Die Man). Decor by Johan Badenhorst.

1993: A production by students of the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department was presented at the H.B. Thom Theatre in November, directed by Waldemar Schultz, starring Chris Vorster as Paul Harmse, Ira Blanckenberg and Melina Dreyer alternating as "Christine", Launa Kotze and Judy-Ann Deacon alternating as "Meisie", Waldemar Schultz as Man.

2000: An English version was presented by the University of the Witwatersrand School of Dramatic Art at the Wits Downstairs Theatre opening on 3 May. Karolien Meyer directed.

Translations and adaptations

An English translation published in Hauptfleisch and Steadman: South African Theatre: Four Plays and an Introduction by HAUM Educational in 1984. English translation by Michael Rice.


PACT theatre programme, 1973.

CAPAB 25 years. Unpublished research. p 117 and 448.

Theatre pamphlet 1987.

Theatre pamphlet, 1993.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

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