Die Hemelbed

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Het Hemelbed: toneelspel in drie bedrijven (“The Heaven Bed: a play in three acts”) is a 1951 two-hander play by Dutch author Jan de Hartog (1914-2002) [1].

The original text

Translations and adaptations

The Fourposter, [2] the English version by the playwright, premiered on Broadway in October 1951.

Afrikaans translation by Sandra Kotzé under the title Die Hemelbed. Published by Nas Bib. (Available at Dalro [3])

Another translation was done from English into Afrikaans by Fred le Roux with the alternative titles Die Dubbelbed and Die Hemelbed.

Performance history in South Africa

1954: The Fourposter was presented by the Brian Brooke Company starring English actors Michael and Dulcie Dennison. Set by Frank Graves. Toured to Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, East London, King Williams Town, Durban’s Little Theatre, Christmas season 1954.

1962: Robert Mohr directed a production by the Little Theatre Players in November.

1963: The Le Roux translation was presented as Die Hemelbed by Kaapse Streektoneel on tour to Clanwilliam, Van Rhynsdorp, Nieuwoudtville, Williston, Fraserburg and Calvinia starring Tine Balder and Pieter Geldenhuys, directed by Paul Malherbe. This production was also presented by SUKOVS in the same year.

1963: The Kotzé translation, Die Hemelbed was produced by Fred Engelen for CAPAB with Tine Balder and Pieter Geldenhuys (and Paul Malherbe?) on a tour which began on 18 November at Jan Kempdorp.

1964: The Le Roux translation, Die Dubbelbed was presented by PACT in the Intimate Theatre, Johannesburg, the National Theatre, Pretoria and toured the Transvaal. Pieter Geldenhuys directed and acted with Joan Brink. Decor by Raimond Schoop and costumes by Margaret Louttit.

1973: The Le Roux translation, Die Hemelbed was staged by PACOFS, directed by Gerrit Geertsema, with Anton Welman and Trudi du Plessis. Decor by David Sidey and costumes by Errol Ross.

1974: The Le Roux translation, Die Hemelbed was staged by PACT, directed by Carel Trichardt, with Louis van Niekerk and Reza de Wet. Decor and costumes by Johan Engels.

19**: The Le Roux translation, Die Dubbelbed was staged by NAPAC, directed by Pieter Geldenhuys, featuring Dale Cutts and Jeanette Hanekom. Decor by Doug Fairall and costumes by Lucille Cross.


Inskip, 1972.

Brooke 1978. 250.

Kaapse Streektoneel programme, 1963.

PACT report, 1963/64.

PACOFS theatre programme 1973.

PACT theatre programme 1974.

NAPAC theatre programme (undated).

Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research.p 15.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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