La Puce à L'Oreille

(Redirected from Hond se Gedagte)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

La Puce à L'Oreille ("Flea in the Ear") is a French vaudeville piece by Georges Feydeau (1862-1921) [1]

The title written La Puce à l'oreille in French, and often translated into English as "A Flea in Her Ear".

The original text

The title is based on the suggestive French proverb or saying, "avoir/mettre la puce en l'oreille" ("to have or put a flea in someone's ear")[2], and the play was first performed a vaudeville at the Théâtre des Nouveautés on 2 March, 1907, at the height of the Belle Époque. It became an extremely popular farce, often done, also in South Africa.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English (usually less suggestively as A Flea in Her Ear) by a number of writers, including John Mortimer [3] (Samuel French, 1960), by Barnett Shaw (Samuel French, 1966), and apparently by someone named "Samuel Benin" (unpublished, performed 1968).

Translated into Afrikaans by Nerina Ferreira in 1971 as Hond se Gedagte (“Dog’s Idea/Thought”, based on the Afrikaans idiomatic saying, "om hond se gedagtes te kry" - lit. "to get dog's thoughts", i.e. "to have suspicions"). The typed Ferreira text refers to the original play as La Puce dans L'Oreille.

Often filmed, including three French versions (by Marcel Simon in 1914, Jacques Charon in 1968 and a téléfilm by Yves Di Tullio in 1997. There was also a TV adaptation in 1956.

Performance history in South Africa

1968: A translation into English by someone called "Samuel Benin", directed by Albert Ninio, opening 30 May 1968 in the Alexander Theatre. Cast: Hal Orlandini, Barbara Itzler, Don McCorkindale, Kevin Basel, Mary Harrison, Shelagh Holliday, John McKelvey, James White, Gordon Mulholland, Brenda Kerry-Osrin, Gabriel Bayman, Margaret Fry, Wilfred Cosgrove, Max Angorn.

1970: Presented in an English version by the University of Cape Town’s Speech and Drama Department at the Little Theatre in December, directed by Aubrey Berg.

1971: Nerina Ferreira's Afrikaans translation Hond se Gedagte was produced at the Nico Malan Theatre to alternate with Koning Lear for the opening of the theatre in June 1971. Directed by Dieter Reible, starring Paul Slabolepszy, Trudi du Plessis, David Haynes, Pieter Geldenhuys, Liz Dick, Sandra Kotzé, Pieter Joubert, Johan Malherbe, Mees Xteen, Gay Morris, Fitz Morley, Nerina Ferreira, Willem de la Querra, Price Coetzee. Stage manager Mavis Lilenstein. The production returned to the Nico Malan Theatre for a fourth season on 18 December 1975 with some changes to the cast.

1973: Hond se Gedagte was staged by PACOFS, directed by Carel Trichardt, with Cobus Visser (Camille), Karin van Wyk (Antoinette), Henk Hugo (Etienne), Pieter Geldenhuys (Dr. Finache), Trudi du Plessis (Lucienne), Petru Wessels (Raymonde), Pieter Joubert (Victor Emmanuel & Poche), Pietro Nolte (Romain), Anton Welman (Carlos), Estelle de Waal (Eugenie), Raymond Davies (Augustine), Trudie Taljaard (Olympe), George Barnes (Baptistin) and Price Coetzee (Herr Schwarz).

1978: In line with their political stance, The Space (Cape Town) did a multiracial version of A Flea in Her Ear, directed and lit by Brian Astbury starring Peter Basford, Charles Comyn, Bill Curry, John Dennison, Andrea Fine, Errol Hart, Margaret Keegan, Mzwandile Ngxangane, Thoko Ntshinga, Michael O'Brien, Rodney Pienaar, John Ramsdale, Clare Stopford, Corinne Willoughby. Designer Maciek Miszewski. Stage managers Dorothy Watkins and Carol Noah.

1981: Hond se Gedagte was staged by PACT in the State Theatre, directed by Carel Trichardt, with Pierre van Pletzen (Camille), Amor Tredoux (Antoinette), William Egan (Etienne), Louis van Niekerk (Dr. Finache), Rika Sennett (Lucienne), Petru Wessels (Raymonde), Marius Weyers (Victor Emmanuel & Poche), Don Lamprecht (Romain), Nico Liebenberg (Carlos), Riana Wilkens (Eugenie), Tobie Cronje (Augustine), Alida Theron (Olympe), Johan Blignaut (Baptistin), Schalk Schoombie (Herr Schwarz) and Rita Ehlers (Fraülein Weissglück). Decor by Richard Cook and costumes by Tom Owen.

1981: Hond se Gedagte was staged by PACOFS, directed by Sandra Kotze, with Pieter Brand (Camille), Heloise Krynauw (Antoinette), Kym Thorburn (Etienne), Schalk Jacobsz (Dr. Finache), Antoinette Kellermann (Lucienne), Ronel Kriel (Raymonde), Johan Malherbe (Victor Emmanuel & Poche), Henry Mylne (Romain), Anton Welman (Carlos), Libby Daniels (Eugenie), Willem Vermaas (Augustine), Francesca Bantock (Olympe), Johan Brewis (Baptistin) and Hugo Taljaard (Herr Schwarz).

1988: Hond se Gedagte presented by CAPAB, directed by Sandra Kotzé, opening 19 December at the Nico Malan Theatre, with Cobus Rossouw, Jannie Gildenhuys, Antoinette Kellermann, Marthinus Basson, Neels Coetzee, Fiona Coyne, Gustav Geldenhuys, Ronel Kriel, André Roothman, Elma van Wijk, Joey de Koker, Phillip Boucher, Willie Fritz and Mark Hoeben. Costumes by Dicky Longhurst, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell. Original decor design by Roy Cooke rebuilt under the supervision of Pieter de Swardt.

1988: A Flea in her Ear was presented by The Drama at the Natal Playhouse, Durban, directed by Dieter Reible, on 3 - 31 December 1988.

2000: A Flea in her Ear was presented by the Muizenberg Amateur Dramatic Society, Cape Town.

2016:Hond se Gedagte was presented at the Woordfees 2016 [4] directed by Christiaan Olwagen.


"A Flea in Her Ear" in Wikipedia [5]

Teater SA, 1(1), 1968.

Inskip, 1972. p.156.

PACOFS theatre programme, 1973.

Astbury 1979.

Antoinette Kellerman's annotated copy of the typed text of Hond se Gedagte for the 1988 CAPAB production, found in the Stellenbosch Drama Department archives in 2022.

PACT theatre programme, 1981.

PACT pamphlet June 1981.

Review by Raeford Daniel, The Rand Daily Mail, 3 November 1981.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research. P 75.

Hond se Gedagte (CAPAB) theatre programme, 1988.

Nerina Ferreira. Typed prompt text of Hond se Gedagte, held in the archives of the Drama Department, University of Stellenbosch.

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page