Frühlings Erwachen

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frühlings Erwachen is a play (published in 1891) by German playwright and actor Frank Wedekind (1864-1918). Wedekind was also a journalist, advertising manager, secretary to a circus, cabaret artiste, satirist and convict.

The play is one of the first plays of the modern movement, a key work of the naturalist school, that is also a precursor of German Expressionism and the principal inspiration of it. The play was almost universally regarded as pure pornography. In 1906 Max Reinhardt produced a modified version.

Translations and adaptations

The translation by John Osborn, entitled Spring Awakening was published by John Calder in 1969 (ISBN 10: 0714506338⁄ISBN 13: 9780714506333) [1].

Translated into English as Spring Awakening by English playwright Edward Bond [2]. Published by Methuen, 1980.

Translated into Afrikaans as Bloeiende Lente by Mitzi Booysen.

Performance history in South Africa

1960: Spring Awakening presented by Ruth Oppenheim at the Library Theatre, Johannesburg.

1970: Presented by the University of Cape Town’s Speech and Drama Department at the Arena Theatre, Hiddingh Campus, in June, directed by Tessa Marwick.

1981: Spring Awakening was produced by Rhodes University Drama Department directed by Lindy Roberts in July 1981.

1984: The Osborn translation was presented at the Little Theatre, Cape Town, directed by Christopher Weare 19-30 May, starring, among others, Ingrid Emslie, Claire Berlein, Megan Choritz, Robert Finlayson, Mark Hoeben, Lionel Newton, Russel Copley, Glenn Swart, Antoinette Butler and Isadora Verwey.

1985: Bloeiende Lente was presented by TRUK Toneel, 1985, directed by Dieter Reible at the Momentum, State Theatre Pretoria (23 October to 9 November) and the Arena Theatre Rosebank, Johannesburg (15 to 23 November). The cast: Ilse van Hemert (Ilse), Kim de Beer (Wendla Bergman), Helena Hettema (Thea), Charlotte Butler (Martha), Frank Opperman,(Melchior Garbor), Frans Kalp (Moritz Stiefel), Gert van Niekerk (Hanschen Rilow), Percy Pretorius (Ernst), Albert Maritz (Otto), Jakes Jacobs (Robert), Bruce Alexander (George), Schalk Schoombie (multiple roles). Lighting by Jane Gosnell.

1990: Spring Awakening was produced by NAPAC's Loft Company in 1990 with, among others, Wilmien Rossouw.

2005: Bloeiende Lente was presented by the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department in the H.B. Thom Theatre in August 2005. Direction and design by Marthinus Basson. Members of the cast included Stian Bam, Roeline Daneel and Geon Nel.


Inskip, 1972. p.156.

Spring Awakening programme notes, Little Theatre production, 1984.

Bloeiende Lente programmes, 1985; 2005.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to F in Plays II Foreign Plays

Return to South_African_Theatre/Plays

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page