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Bagasie ("Baggage" or "Luggage") is a trilogy of Afrikaans one-act plays by André P. Brink (1935-2015).

The collection

Published as Bagasie: Triptiek vir die Toneel ("Baggage: A trilogy for the stage") this is generally considered as the first published manifestation of the Theatre of the Absurd[], in Afrikaans and consists of three related one-act plays, that are usually performed separately, but are also on occasion performed as a trilogy in a single performance.

The plays are:

Die Koffer ("The suitcase"),

Die Tas ("the satchel")

Die Trommel' ("The trunk")

The trilogy was published by Tafelberg Publishers in 1965.

Die Koffer

Die Koffer, usually dated 1962, was also published separately in Die Beskermengel en Ander Eenbedrywe by Tafelberg Publishers and in Tema en Tegniek and Teks en Tegniek both by Academica.

Die Tas

Die Tas was also published in the collection Voort met die Spel by Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, in 1991.

Die Trommel

Performance history of the three plays in South Africa

1964: Die Koffer was staged by Libertas Teaterklub in April, directed by Piet van Straaten, featuring Marie van Heerden (die Vrou), Louis Eksteen (die Man), Annette Muller (die Dame), Dian Joubert (die Heer), Casper Venter (die Klerk) and Piet van Straaten (Kruier). This production was also staged, by invitation of the Bellville Amateur Theatre, in the Bellville Community Centre in May 1964. In September 1964 the same production was staged at the ATKV Amateur Theatre Competition in Bloemfontein.

1965: Die Tas was staged by Libertas Teaterklub in June, directed by Marie van Heerden, with Madeleine Heyns (Kelnerin), Andries Lategan (Man 1), Casper Venter (Man 2) and Willem de la Querra (Vreemdeling), as part of the ATKV Amateur Toneelkompetisie in the Civic Centre in Parow - lighting was designed by Pieter de Swardt and sound effects by Freddie Fourie.

1965: Bagasie was staged by PACT Drama in a production directed by Francois Swart and Leonora Nel: Die Koffer, directed by Swart, featured Johan Botha (Klerk), James Norval (Man), Sandra Kotze (Vrou), Louis van Niekerk (Heer), Petru Wessels (Dame), Marius Weyers (Kruier); Die Trommel, directed by Nel, featured Francois Swart (Odet), Marga van Rooy (Odette), Louw Verwey (Besoeker) and Sandra Kotze (Meisie); Die Tas, directed by Nel, featured Franz Marx (Man 1), Carel Trichardt (Man 2), Thea Kirstein (Kelnerin) and Marius Weyers (Vreemdeling).

1968: Die Koffer was presented by SWARUK in Swakopmund on 18 May, directed by Evert Genis.

1972: The Rhodes University Drama Department and Rhodes University Department of Afrikaans staged a production of Bagasie in June, directed by André P. Brink with Paddy Lambert, Jan Schaafsma, René de Beer, Hansell Hewitt, Beth Dickerson, Sean Dewar, Colin Style, Coryl Hindle, Llewellyn Kriel, Graham Brown and Linda Frauenstein in the cast.

1974: Die Trommel was staged as a lunch-hour presentation at The Space in (Cape Town), directed by Dawie Malan, with Marthinus Basson (Odet), Hilary Gasson (Odette), Blaise Koch (Besoeker) and Estelle Venter (Meisie).

1974/5?: Die Trommel staged by SWAPAC Drama in Windhoek, Namibia, directed by Dawie Malan with Johan Botha, Lida Botha, Kobus Strydom and Antoinette Kellerman, as part of a double bill with The Lesson (Ionesco).

1978: Die Koffer performed in the Libertas-teater in Stellenbosch on 14 March as part of the USAT Dramafees by students of the residences ASVS and Harmonie at the University of Stellenbosch. Adapted and directed by Davida Day, with Gawie van Jaarsveld, Sampie Hendricks, Carina Marais, Dawid Nel, Lila Horn, Davida Day and Jan Maartens. Stage manager Ronnie Belcher.

1996: James Blanckenberg directed a University of Cape Town Drama Department production starring, among others, Mark Daymond and Jason Ralph as Odet.

2002: Die Trommel was performed in the Albert Wessels Auditorium in Bloemfontein during the Volksblad Kunstefees starring James Cairns and Antoinette Louw.

Translations and adaptations


PACT theatre programme, 1965.

Theatre Programme of the ATKV Toneelfees, September 1964.

Theatre Programme of the ATKV Toneelfees, June 1965.

Theatre Programme (Rhodes production 1972) held by NELM: [Collection: Rhodes University. Drama Department]: 2011. 370. 2. 1.

Copy of the 1978 USAT Dramafees programme (held 11-21 March in the Libertas-teater in Stellenbosch).

Theatre pamphlet for a two-hander presentation of Die Trommel and The Lesson staged by SWAPAC Drama in Windhoek, Namibia, found among Antoinette Kellerman's performance texts in the Stellenbosch Drama Department archives in 2022.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Astbury 1979.

Die Burger, 6 May 1996.

Typed copy of Die Trommel, found in the archives of the Stellenbosch Drama Department in 2022.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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