Hay Fever

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Hay Fever is a farcical comedy by Noël Coward (1899-1973)[1].

The original text

The almost plotless play deals with the four eccentric members of the Bliss family and their outlandish behaviour when they each invite a guest to spend the weekend.

Written in 1924, the play was first produced at the Ambassadors Theatre, London on 8 June 1925, with Marie Tempest as "Judith Bliss", transferring to the larger Criterion Theatre on 7 September. The opened at the Maxine Elliott Theatre in New York in the same year.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1935: Presented by the Johannesburg Drama Circle in November(?).

1943: Presented by the Rondebosch Dramatic Society, with Diana Johnson, Gordon Bridger, Louise Dale-Kuys and others.

1944: Produced in Johannesburg by the Munro-Inglis Company.

1946: Presented by the Brian Brooke Company, produced by Brian Brooke in the Hofmeyr Hall in November. The cast consisted of Phyllis Meine, Eve van der Byl, Petrina Fry, Cynthia Klette, Michael Marais, Dorothy Kendal-Grimston, Brian Brooke, Sydney Welch and John McIntosh.

1947: Presented in Port Elizabeth on 18-20 September by the Walmer Dramatic Society, a section of the Walmer Club. Produced by Leonard Symes and starring Lorrie Leppan as "Mr Bliss", Miss Cynthia Brodie as "Mrs Judith Bliss", Mervyn Brodie as their son and Sheila Thorp as "Miss Bliss", Jack Fisher, George Jones, Maureen Daniell, Betty Leppan and Millicent Burns. Yvonne Maytham was the prompt.

1965: Brian Brooke Company, directed by John Hayter, 4 November to 4 December.

1973: Presented by the Arts Theatre Club, directed by Mary Howe.

1974: Staged by PACT at the Alexander Theatre, directed by John Hussey, with Shelagh Holliday (Judith), John Hussey (David), Sally Ducrow (Sorrel), Richard Haines (Sandy), Eckard Rabe (Simon), Diane Wilson (Myra), James White (Richard), Annelisa Weiland (Jacky) and Pam Jacobs (Clara). Sets designed by Richard Cook and costumes designed by Christa Scholtz.

1977: Roy Sargeant directed a Rhodes University Drama Department production, with a cast that included Pamela Gien.

1978: Directed by Peter Curtis for CAPAB starring Liz Dick, Neville Thomas, Clare Marshall.

1981: Presented by the Bloemfontein Repertory Society at the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre from 30 July to 1 August 1981, directed by Desmond Hughes.

19**: Staged by NAPAC, directed by Anne Freed, with Margaret Inglis (Judith), Robert Langford (David), Margaret Milner-Smyth (Sorel), Ivor van Rensburg (Sandy), John Rogers (Simon), Lucille Henderson (Myra), Dale Cutts (Richard), Elaine Dyer (Jackie) and Helen Braithwaite (Clara). Sets and costumes designed by Gerry Strydom.




George F. Howard. 1935. Hay Fever,(Johannesburg Drama Circle). South African Opinion, 2(3):16. November 29.

Trek, 8(13):18, 1943; 8(15):18, 1944; 11(10):18, 1946.

South African Opinion, 3(10):21, 1946.

NELM: [Collection: ASCH, Valda]: 2005. 65. 7. 11.

PACT theatre programme, 1974.

NAPAC theatre programme (undated).

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research. p 90.

Bloemfontein Reps theatre programme, 1981.

Arts Theatre Club archive held by George Mountjoy.

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