Den Starkare

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Den Starkare [1] is a 1889 one-act play by Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter August Strindberg (1849-1912) [2].

The original text

The play is quite short, consisting of only one scene that can be performed in approximately 10 minutes. The characters consist of only two women: a "Mrs. X" and a "Miss. Y", only one of whom speaks, an example of a dramatic monologue.

Translations and adaptations

It was adapted into a 1952 opera by composer Hugo Weisgall [3] and there have been numerous film and television adaptations of the work.

Translated into English as The Stronger by Elizabeth Sprigge.

Translated from the English into Afrikaans, as Die Sterkere by Marie van Heerden and Madeleine Heyns in 1966.

Performance history in South Africa

1966: Staged by the Libertas Teaterklub in The Cellar, with Marie van Heerden (Miss Y) and Madeleine Heyns (Mrs. X), in their own Afrikaans translation, Die Sterkere.

1971: Staged by PACT in Afrikaans, as Die Sterkste, directed by Truida Louw, with Wilna Snyman (Die Vrou) and Annette Engelbrecht (Die Vriendin).

1972: The Sprigge English translation was staged by CAPAB, directed by David Haynes, with Liz Dick (Mrs. X) and Marion Achber (Miss Y). In a double bill with Orison (Arrabal)

1975: The Afrikaans translation Die Sterkere was presented by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in the H.B. Thom Theatre, with Suzanne Britz and Leona Rich, directed by Ria Olivier.

2005: Presented by Alba Theatre, The Netherlands, in an English translation by Philip Hartzuiker, directed by Saskia Mees, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown from 4-9 July.


PACT theatre programme, 1971.

CAPAB theatre programme, 1972.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

National Arts Festival programme, 2005. 55.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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