Die Groot Wit Roos

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Die Groot Wit Roos ("The great white rose") is an Afrikaans play by Pieter Fourie (1940-)


The original text

Inspired by the life of a reckless young man the author had known, it is a play about a former playboy and skirt-chaser, who now finds himself in a wheelchair, able to review his life through the process of the filming a movie about his sexual conquests, to be called Die Breker. The result is a complex play, dealing with sexuality and the meaning of love by moving from past to present to explore various levels of reality.

The play itself was originally also to have been called Die Breker (literally "the breaker", but meaning something closer to "the invincible dare-devil"). However the play was performed and published as Die Groot Wit Roos.

Written as Fourie's first play as resident dramatist with PACT, it was first performed by PACT in 1989 and published by HAUM Literêr in the same year. The play is dedicated to director Dieter Reible, who had directed a number of Fourie's plays over the years.

Despite its interesting technical experiments and innovations, the play received a very mixed reaction, both as text and as play, and was often unfavourably compared to Fourie's earlier tragedies, especially as regards the intrigue and the characterization.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1989: First performed in early September in the Momentum Theatre at the State Theatre Complex by PACT, directed by Dieter Reible, with Louis van Niekerk (Louis), Jana Cilliers (Lorna), Gavin van den Berg (André), Brümilda van Rensburg (Belinda), Petru Wessels (Joan), Christine Basson (Helene), Gigi Strydom (Amy), Ilse van Hemert (Lettie) and others. Design by Andre Hattingh and lighting by Jacques Mulder.

1989: The original PACT production was also performed in the Adcock Ingram Theatre in Johannesburg.

1991: Performed in the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre by PACOFS from 25 April to 4 May. Directed by Gerben Kamper, with Louw Verwey (Louis), Petru Wessels (Lorna), Paul Lückhoff (André), Isadora Verwey (Belinda) and James van Helsdingen (Seun). Décor and lighting design by Johnny Boerstel, costume co-ordination by Pamela Pelser.

1999: Performed in the Die Masker theatre, Pretoria, by students of the Drama Department of the University of Pretoria in July.

2006: Performed in the Wynand Mouton Theatre, Bloemfontein, by students of the Drama Department of the University of the Free State. Directed by Lulu Botha with inter alia actor and singer Hanno van Heerden.

Sources

PACT theatre programme, 1989.

Die Groot Wit Roos theatre programme, 1991.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Nico Luwes 2010. Pieter Fourie (1940-) se bydrae as Afrikaanse dramaturg en kunsbestuurder: 1965-2010. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State, pp.391-442 [1]

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