Das Friedens-feyer

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Das Friedens-feyer ("The festival of peace") is the name of a German play in two acts, with songs, performed in Cape Town in 1803. The name of the author is uncertain.

The original text

F.C.L. Bosman (1928. p. 79) suggests the spelling of the title may actually have been either Die Freidensfeier or Das Friedensfeuer , and that it was a work by an unknown (French?) author. He suggests that the play had been translated into Dutch as Het Vredensfeest by Fokke Simonsz (Arend Simonszoon Fokke) in 1802 (a play which deals with the Treaty of Amiens signed between France and England in 1802). Of course it may be exactly the opposite, i.e. that Fokke Simonsz's Dutch translation of another play had in fact been translated into German by the company and performed in Cape Town.

Another possibility is that the play produced in Cape Town was in fact a short children's play, Die Friedensfeyer, oder Die unvermuthete Wiederkunft ("The peace Festival, or The unsuspected return"). This is a well-known two-act German musical comedy for children by Christian Felix Weisse (1726–1804), with music by Johann André (1741–1799), published in 1779 in the fifth volume of Weisse's children's journal series Der Kinderfreund ("The Children's Friend"). In this case of course, it is unlikely that it would have been the play translated by Fokke Simonsz, since the play greatly pre-dates the events recounted in the Dutch play.

Performance history in South Africa

1803: Performed as Das Friedens-feyer was first performed in German in the African Theatre, Cape Town on 12 March by Het Hoogduitsche Gezelschap van het Liefhebbery Theater with Die Ueberrasschung (Stephanie).




F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: p. 79, 111

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