Jochem van Bruggen

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Jochem van Bruggen (1881-1957)[1].


Born in the Netherlands, a South African prose writer and first winner of the Hertzog Prize for Afrikaans literature for the novel Teleurgestel ("Disappointed") in 1917. Best known for his novels about the character Ampie.

His younger brother was J.R.L. van Bruggen.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

He was much involved in cultural activities in the Magaliesburg region, not only leading a number of choirs over the years, but also acting as chairman of the debating society and founder and leader of a local Dramatic Society, for which he wrote and directed a number of plays. Among these were Oom Kasper in Johannesburg,

He also adapted a number of his prose works for the stage, including Ampie, Die Burgemeester van Slaplaagte (as In die Maalstroom, or sometimes performed as Levina).

His own adaptations were rather staid and inept, but the popularity of the novels made productions of the plays viable, particularly when performed by good actors working with creative directors.

During the depression he himself took his plays and adaptations on a series of tours of the country, in an attempt to augment his income, but this actually created more problems than it solved apparently, causing him large financial losses. (He wrote about this at some length in the book Met Ampie deur die depressie ().

Later years saw performances of the major adaptations by NTO and the Performing Arts Councils.


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