Joan Woutersz

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Joan Woutersz is a Dutch drama in five acts by H.J. (Hendrik Jan) Schimmel (1823-1906)[1].

The original text

A patriotic play about Willem van Oranje (1533–1584)[2] of the Netherlands, also known as "Willem de Zwijger" (i.e. "William the Silent" or "William the Taciturn"), who the was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs, an act that set off the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) and ultimately led to the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581.

The text was first published in Amsterdam by W.C. Ippel in 1847.

Translations and adaptations

L.W.B. Binge (1969, p. 66) refers to the play as Joan Wouters, which seems to suggest that an Afrikaans translation of the play was done by an unknown author.

Performance history in South Africa

1906: Performed by Ons Spreekuur in Stellenbosch some time during the year, probably in the Dutch original.

1912: Performed as Joan Wouters in Graaf Reinet in the Eastern Cape by an amateur company brought together by P.H.C. Pohl and Hendrik Momberg under the auspices of the Graaff-Reinet Amateur Dramatic and Musical Society, and directed by Pohl. This was possibly in an early Afrikaans version, translated/adapted by Pohl.

1933: Two performances of the play put on in the Grand Theatre, Bloemfontein, produced by Willem Frederik Mondriaan, with C. de Wet Marais (1903-1972) and Anna Christina Snoek (1903-1941) in leading roles. The production was done as the Orange Free State's contribution to the 400th anniversary celebrations of the birth of William of Orange.


Facsimile version of the first Dutch edition, DBNL, [3]

Facsimile version of the first Dutch edition, Google E-book[4]

L.W.B. Binge. 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950), J.L. van Schaik (1969)

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.203-205

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