Die Spook van Verlatenfontein

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Die Spook van Verlatenfontein ("The Ghost of Verlatenfontein") is an Afrikaans comic stage thriller by F.W. Boonzaier (1901-1963).

The original text

A comic thriller about the hunt to find and get rid of a ghost active on the farm Verlatenfontein ("deserted fountain"). Not only the original owner, but a number of his subsequent renters, have been driven away so far by the activities of the ghost.

A full-length play, with music, it was first performed in 1927 and published in 1933. Considered the first Afrikaans stage thriller, it was very popular and went on to be widely performed over the years.

The text published as Die Spook van Verlatenfontein; Die eerste Afrikaanse grilstuk by Nasionale Pers in 1933, 1937 and 1946.

Translations and adaptations

The text was adapted for a more modern setting in the 1990s by the director Danie Botha, with music and lyrics by François Bloemhof. This version also went on to have several performances.

Printed by Tafelberg 2004

Performance history in South Africa

1927: Performed by the CJV of Observatory, Cape Town.

1938: Produced by the Krugersdorp Municipal Dramatic and Operatic Society as part of the society's Voortrekker Festival programme.




Copy of a catalogue (handwritten by various hands) of the F.C.L. Bosman collection held at the Nasionale Afrikaanse Letterkunde Museum en Navorsingsentrum (NALN) in Bloemfontein.

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