Huit Femmes

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Huit Femmes ("Eight Women") is a dark comedy drama by French dramatist Robert Thomas [1] (1927-1989).

The original text

The plot follows eight women as they gather to celebrate Christmas in an isolated, snowbound cottage only to find Marcel, the family patriarch, dead with a knife in his back. Trapped in the house, every woman becomes a suspect, each having her own motive and secret. (Wikipedia [2])

Originally performed in 1958.

Translations and adaptations

Translated from the French into English as Eight Women and into Afrikaans as Agt Vroue by Jocelyn de Bruyn (c. 1963).

Performance history in South Africa

1963: Agt Vroue staged by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch, directed by Jo Gevers,with Carmen Haddad, Elise Ziervogel, Christine Basson, Antoinette Terblanche, Esther van Ryswyk, Annatjie Vorster, Marie Pentz and Gertie Smith-Visser. Voice of the radio announcer, Franz Marx. Stage manager Cynthia Dekker, decor design by the director. This production was also staged at the Little Theatre in Cape Town in May.

1965: Agt Vroue staged by PACT from April to June, directed by Leonora Nel, with Elsa Fouché (Gaby), Petru Wessels (Suzon), Sandra Kotzé (Catherine), Anna Cloete (Mamy), Wilma Stockenström (Augustine), Sann de Lange (Mev Chanel), Marga van Rooy (Louise) and Kita Redelinghuys (Pierrette). Decor by Raimond Schoop and lighting by Victor Melleney.

1965: Eight Women was presented by the University of Cape Town's Speech and Drama Department at the Little Theatre in September, directed by Rosalie van der Gucht.

1975: Agt Vroue staged by University of Pretoria, Department of Drama, directed by Jocelyn de Bruyn, with student actors Lettie Fick (Gaby), Elizabeth de Villiers (Suzon), Elize Lisamore (Catherine), Amanda van Zyl (Mamy), Celeste de Wet (Augustine), Antonia Ockerse (Mev Chanel), Chevaun Cockroft (Louise) and Hermien du Plessis (Pierrette)

1984: Produced by Pauline van Zyl for the Jansenville Dramavereniging. Starring Pauline van Zyl, Susie Crouse, Antoinette Botha, Francie Taljaard, Teresa Odendaal, Irma Carol, and Elize Fourie.


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

UTS theatre pamphlet, ESAT Archive.

PACT theatre programme, 1965.

Inskip, 1972. pp.149, 151.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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