Drie Daghe Here

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Drie Daghe Here is a Medieval Dutch farce by an unknown author (ca. 1400-1420).

The original text

Described in the subtitle as "Ene sotte boerde ende ene goede sotternie"[1], it is an incomplete farce, held as part of a collection of four plays contained (known as the "Abele spelen", i.e. "Noble plays") found in the Van Hulthem Manuscript[2], which dates from 1410 and is in the collection of the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels (shelfmark hs. 15.589-623)[3] and dates from ca. 1400-1420.

Usually the performance of every "abel spel" was followed by a sotternie (i.e. a farce). Because of the noble nature of the play, the same theme was played out in a more populistic and explicit form.

Written in Middelnederlands ("Middle Dutch")[4], and in verse, the (incomplete) text of Drie Daghe Here tells of a downtrodden husband who makes a deal with his wife: In exchange for three days of being the boss in his house, he will give her an expensive fur coat. He enjoys it so much that he then invites friends over for a party where he can boss her around.

Translations and adaptations

Rewritten in modern Flemish as Drie Dagen Here by Herman Teirlinck (1879-1967) [5], published in 1936 and described as "een zotte boerde".

Teirlink's version was translated from the Flemish into Afrikaans as Drie Dae Meester by Isabel Combrink and Cynthia Dekker in 1965.

Performance history in South Africa

1962: Presented in Afrikaans by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch.

1965: Presented by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in the Bothasaal, directed by Deon Joubert, starring Henk Hugo, Woutrine Theron, Deon Joubert and Rina la Grange.

1973: Performed as Drie Dae Heer en Meester (referred to as "a medieval play"), in the Hofmeyr Theatre for CAPAB Afrikaans Company in July. Directed by Pieter de Swardt.

1975: Presented by the Parow Toneelvereniging at a drama festival in Fish Hoek under the direction of Woutrine Theron, starring Lisma Kotze as a supporting actress.

1996: Performed at the KKNK by pupils of the Brackenfell Hoërskool.


Facsimile version of the original Medieval text, DBNL[6]






Herman Teirlinck, 1879-1967, The Online Books Page[7]

UTS theatre pamphlet

Listing of productions in the UTS programme for Arms and the Man, H.B. Thom Theatre, Stellenbosch, 1968 (held in ESAT Archive)

Nico Malan Theatre Centre pamphlet, July 1973.

Skoonma is 'n Vuurvreter! programme notes, circa 1975.

Krit, 1 April 1996.

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