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Demea is a play by Guy Butler (1918-2001).

See also the entry under Medea

The original text

The play is a based on Medea, and is a political allegory of Apartheid South African at the height of 'Verwoedian mania'. Characters from the original Greek drama are given re-imagined names: 'Jason' becomes 'Jonas', 'Medea' becomes 'Demea' and 'Creon' becomes 'Kroon'. The play is set in the late 1820s.

Published by David Philip, 1990.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1990: Produced at the National Arts Festival and the Alexander Theatre, directed by Dieter Reible. Decor by Lindy Roberts. The cast included Nomsa Xaba as Demea, Louis van Niekerk as Kroon, Graham Hopkins as Jonas Barker, Dale Cutts (Fitzwilliam), Peter Se-Puma (Agaan), Christopher Wells, Bill Curry, Ulrich Dupont and members of the PACT Company. Designer Lindy Roberts, lighting designer Paul Pamboukian.

2007: Produced by students of the University of the Free State Drama Department, Scaena Theatre, directed by Leendert de Jager.


Butler, Guy. 1990. Demea: a play. David Philip: Cape Town & Johannesburg.

Beeld, 19 Jul 1990,

The Star, 30 July 1990,

Volksblad, 4 June 2007.

National Arts Festival programme, 1990.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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