Julius Caesar

(Redirected from Julius Ceasar)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Julius Caesar is a play by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)[1].

Also listed occasionally as The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and The Life and Death of Julius Caesar, but best known simply as Julius Caesar.

The protagonist's name is strangely enough one of the most misspelled words in English language, often appearing as Julius Ceasar.

A hugely popular prescribed work for schools and university English courses, as well as productions by schools, Repertory and Shakespeare societies and the like.

The original text

Though originally published as The Tragedy of Julius Caesar in the First Folio of 1623, the play is believed to have been written in 1599, since a performance was mentioned by Thomas Platter the Younger in his diary in September 1599. Stylistic evidence also appears to point to this date.

South African translations

Translated into a number of South African languages, including:

Afrikaans: Translated as Julius Caesar Anna S. Pohl, (Van Schaik, 1966)

Northern Sotho: Translated as Julease Sisare by N.C. Phatudi, (Unieboekwinkel, 1960),

Tsonga: Translated as Julius Caesar by S.J. Baloyi, published by Sasavona/Swiss Mission in SA in 1957; A revised version by Charlotte Nkondo published in 1973 by the Swiss Mission in SA, reprinted by Sasavona, 1993. Title also found as Julius Casaer, in one source, but almost certainly a spelling error.

Setswana: Translated as Dintshontsho tsa bo-Julius Kesara by Sol.T. Plaatje, Wits University , 1937),

Tshivenda: Translated as Makhaulambilu a Julius Caesar by H.M. Nemudzivadi, **, 19*?),

Xhosa: Translated as uJulius Caesar by B.B. Mdledle, (A.P.B., 1957), .

South African adaptations

Caesar by André P. Brink (1961)

This is an original play, not a version of Shakespeare's work.

See Caesar

SeZaR by by Yaël Farber (2001)

SeZaR is an adaptation by Yaël Farber, set in Azania, a fictional African country, and utilizing the original dialogue in combination with additional text in various local South African languages.

Premièred at the Grahamstown Festival in 2001, directed by Yaël Farber, with Hope Sprinter Sekgobela (SeZaR), Menzi Ngubane (Brutas), Tumisho Masha (Kassius), Tony Kgoroge (Mark Anthony (sic)), Siyabonga Twala (Sinna, Oktavius and sangoma), Mary Twala (Soothsayer), Mmabatho Mogomotsi (Porshia) and Keketso Semoko (Kalpurnia).

The same production, after a run in England, was staged at the Market Theatre in February 2002.

The work received a total of four FNB Vita Awards.

Performance history in South Africa

1831: Possibly performed in English by H. Booth and All the World's a Stage in Cape Town, as part of a series of Shakespearian works they offered.

1834: Performed in English, under the patronage of the Governor, as Julius Caesar by the "Private Amateur Company" (a civil society), in the Amateur Theatre (Liefhebbery Toneel) on 30 September, with The Spectre Bridegroom, or A Ghost in spite of Himself (Moncrieff) as afterpiece.

1861: The "Quarrel Scene," from Julius Caesar was performed in the Garrison Theatre at Keiskama Hoek by the Sargeants of the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot on June 13 and 17, the characters of Brutus and Cassius being played by Sergeant-Major T.H. Smith and Sergeant J. Lydon. Also performed were the plays The Lady of the Lake (Scott/Dibdin) and Cool as a Cucumber (Jerrold), and an interlude by the Ethiopian Serenaders. (For more on contemporary responses to the performances, see the entry on the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot)

1932: Produced by Alfred Holtzer at the Hiddingh Hall, Cape Town, starring Leonard Schach as Artemidorus and Joyce Bradley as Portia.

1943: Produced by Alfred Holtzer for S.A.C.S. Dramatic Society, at Cape Town's Little Theatre, 1943.

1957: John Boulter directed the play for the Wits University Players starring Janet Suzman.

1960: Produced , directed by Robert Mohr, with a cast that included John Ramsdale

1976: Maynardville's 1976 production of Julius Caesar, opening 8 January, was directed by Leonard Schach with Roger Dwyer in the title role, also starring David Dodimead, Keith Grenville, John Whiteley and many others. Schach's decor was realised by Peter Krummeck and Jennifer Craig designed the costumes. This was the Spotlight Theatre's 21st anniversary production.

1983: PACOFS, directed by Desmond Hughes, starring Anton Dekker, Danie Burger, Clive Chamberlin, Neville Thomas, Franz Gräbe, Anton Welman and Pieter Brand.

1984: Presented by NAPAC at the Alhambra Theatre, Durban, directed by English director Peter Dews [2] (1929-1997) from 5 March 1984. This production visited Balgowan, Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Empangeni and Uvongo until 31 March. NAPAC's production was presented at the 1984 Grahamstown Festival with Eckard Rabe, Don Ridgway, John Hussey and Michael Swinton, redirected for the Festival by John Hussey and Michael Swinton. Lighting by Mick Hughes, adapted by Joe Freedman, sound effects by Tim Oilver.

1985: Directed by Malcolm Purkey for SODA, Wits Theatre.

1995: An adaptation was staged in September 1995 at the Windybrow Arts Centre and in the Momentum Theatre at the State Theatre, directed by Walter Chakela, with a cast including Professor Mavuso, James Whyle, Juanita Strydom.

2001: SeZaR, an adaptation by Yael Farber, was staged at the Grahamstown Festival

2002 SeZaR staged at the Market Theatre.

Translations and adaptations



F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [3]: pp. 205-6, 374.

North Lincoln Sphinx Vol 1, No 7. June 13, 1861.

North Lincoln Sphinx Vol 1, No 8. September 30, 1861.

Trek, 8(5):16, 1943.


Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research. p 62.

Inskip, 1977. p 127.

Teaterwoordeboek, Vaktaalburo, 1977.

National Arts Festival programme, 1984.

PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988.

Review by Mfundo Ndebele, New Nation, 15 September 1995.

Die Burger, 3 July 2001.

Natal Witness, 7 July 2001.

Sunday Tribune, 27 January 2002.

The Star, 7 February 2002.

The Sowetan, 8 February 2002.

Sunday Independent, 10 February 2002.

E-mail correspondence from Laurence Jacobs, August, 2020, containing information supplied by John Ramsdale.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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