Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus Rex ("King Oedipus") is the commonly used Latin title for Οἰδίπους Τύραννος ("Oedipous Tyrrannous" or "Oedipus the Tyrant") by Sophocles (c. 497/6–406/5 BC)[1]. It is also referred to as Oedipus Tyrannus, Oidipus Tyranus, King Oedipus, etc.)


On the character and theatrical works on the theme, see Oedipus

The original text

Sophocles's version of the Oedipus myth was first performed in the original around 429 BC in the Theatre of Dionysus, Athens, It was one of three plays dealing with the house of Laius and the city of Thebes, often referred to as Sophocles's Theban Plays. Though the second to be written, the play is actually the first in terms of the chronology of events that the plays describe - and is followed by Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone.

In his Poetics, Aristotle uses the play as his prime example of a Greek tragedy.


Translations

The play has been translated into virtually all languages.

Among the numerous English translations since Thomas Francklin's 1759 attempt, are well-known versions by Gilbert Murray (1911), W.B. Yeats (1928), H.D.F. Kitto (1962), Anthony Burgess, (1972) and George Theodoridis (2005).

Translators into Dutch and Flemish include De Badous (1618), Vondel (1660), Bilderdijk (1789), van Herwerden (1880), Royaards and von Hofmannsthal (1913), Engelman (1955), Vos (1996), and Koolschijn (2008)[2]


Translated into Afrikaans prose as Koning Oidipus by L.J. du Plessis and published by J.L. van Schaik, Pretoria in 1928.

Translated into Afrikaans by Theo Wassenaar as Koning Oidipus and published in 1938 by the Voortrekkerpers, Joahnnesburg. This Afrikaans text says "vertolk deur", i.e. it had been "interpreted by", Wassenaar.

Adaptations

There have been numerous adaptations of the play, including:

La Machine Infernale (Cocteau, 1934).

Jocasta: A version of the Oedipus Myth by Rob Amato.

Performance history in South Africa

1927: Performed in Afrikaans as Koning Oidipus by students of the Potchefstroom University College, using the L.J. du Plessis translation.

1938: Performed in Afrikaans as Koning Oidipus (the Theo Wassenaar version) by Volksteater, Pretoria. The performance took place in the main hall of the City Hall, Pretoria, 9-10 June 1938, and was directed by Isobel de Waal, with H.J. Oberholzer as Oidipus and Anna Neethling-Pohl as Iocasta. Set designed and painted by J.H. Pierneef and S. Schwartz, and costumes by Anna Botha. There were also four "toneelmeesters" (i.e. "stage managers"): W.P. de Villiers, Chris Neethling, A.J. du Plessis and S. Schwartz.

1950: King Oedipus was produced by Taubie Kushlick starring Johann Nell as Oedipus the King, Margery Weston (Jacosta), Humphrey de Wet (Creon), Constantine Haritakis (Tiresias).

1952: André Huguenet presented King Oedipus by Sophocles in Port Elizabeth, opening on 13 February. Directed by Will Jamieson, with André Huguenet (Oedipus), William Turner (A Priest), Edward Mansfield (Creon), John Hamber (Tiresias), Rupert Bellairs (The Boy), Sally Carroll (Jocasta), Joan Parker and Hilda Jamieson (Attendants to Jocasta), Geoffrey Harrison (First Messenger), H Alyn Lane (Herdsman), Drasna Salters (Antigone), Rene Steenkamp (Ismene), Maurice Weightman (Chorus Leader) and Robin Parker (Second Voice). The Chorus of Theban Elders consisted of Peter Millard, Hilton Pegg, Stephen Rein, Peter Brand, John Allen, Neil Zeeman, Jock Fisher, Peter Dixon, Wintan Ferreira, Keith Pegg, Cecil Steyn, Danie Vermaak, Melville Oosthuizen and Rex Finlay. The Guards were provided by Benny Ossher's Physical Culture Institute, and featured Graham Elburg, Lawrence Shepstone, Walter Stotter and Nico Smith, while the Temple Maidens were Hazel Muller, Patricia Stow, Patience White, Peggy Tait, Dawn Robertson, Dorine Charles. The set was designed by Roy Cook (and built by African Consolidated Theatres Ltd), the costumes by Geoffrey Long, lighting by H. Alyn Lane and coiffures by Pierre of Salon Charles. Stage Manager: Wolf Grunhuber. House manager: Harold Davidson. (by courtesy of PE Dramatic and Operatic Society). Programme Cover: Maurice Weightman. Personal Assistant to Mr Huguenet: Phyllis Davidson.

1955: The Wassenaar version of Koning Oidipus was performed professionally by National Theatre Organisation for the Pretoria Centenary celebrations. Directed by Johan de Meester, with André Huguenet and Anna Neethling-Pohl in the lead. Also featuring Francois Marais, Roelof Botha, Ben Cronjé, Andries Brink, Johan van Rensburg, Jannie Gildenhuys, Hannes Horne, Leendert Verdoorn. Décor and costumes by Frank Graves and lighting by Harry Ligoff.

1956: On the 30th anniversary of his appearance on the South African stage, André Huguenet directed and played the lead in a production of this play in English by his own company (in Cape Town?), also starring Marjory Wright (Jocasta), Edward Mansfield (Creon) and many others, including Athol Fugard as a herdsman. Costumes were designed and executed by Doreen and Frank Graves, the setting was designed and executed by Giuseppe Cappon. Bill Smuts was the stage director. (Athol Fugard's 2004 play about Huguenet, Exits and Entrances, is partly based on his experiences during this production.)

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus_the_King

http://dighum.uantwerpen.be/grieksdrama/data/bibliografie.html

https://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lys_van_vertalings_in_Afrikaans

P.J. Conradie, 1999

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus_(Seneca)

Trek, 15(6):41, 1950.

Helikon, 5(21), 1955.

Oedipus Rex theatre programme, Huguenet production 1956-7.

Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne 1988.

Oedipus theatre programmes, PACT, 1971, 1990.

B. van Zyl Smit 2003 "The Receptions of Greek Tragedy in the 'Old' and the 'New' South Africa" in Akroterion 48 : 3-20)[3]

Betine van Zyl Smit. 2010. "Oedipus and Afrikaans Theater" in Comparative Drama (Vol. 44, No. 4: pp. 477-493)[4]


Go to ESAT Bibliography

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Oedipus by Aeschylus

According to surviving records, Aeschylus won first prize at the City Dionysia with a trilogy about the House of Laius in 467 BC. One part of the trilogy was a play about Oedipus. However, we know only know about it by reputation, as no text is extant.

See also Classical Theatre in South Africa

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Oedipus Rex was first performed in the original around 429 BC in the Theatre of Dionysus, Athens, It was one of three plays dealing with the house of Laius and the city of Thebes, often referred to as Sophocles's Theban Plays. Though the second to be written, the play is actually the first in terms of the chronology of events that the plays describe - and is followed by Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone.

In his Poetics, Aristotle uses the play as his prime example of a Greek tragedy.

Translations

The play has been translated into virtually all languages.

Among the numerous English translations since Thomas Francklin's 1759 attempt, are well-known versions by Gilbert Murray (1911), W. B. Yeats (1928), H. D. F. Kitto (1962), Anthony Burgess, (1972) and George Theodoridis (2005).

Translated into Afrikaans prose as Koning Oidipus by L.J. du Plessis and published by J.L. van Schaik, Pretoria in 1928.

Translated into Afrikaans by Theo Wassenaar as Koning Oidipus and published in 1938 by the Voortrekkerpers, Joahnnesburg. This Afrikaans text says "vertolk deur", i.e. it had been "interpreted by", Wassenaar.


Performance history in South Africa

1927: Performed in Afrikaans as Koning Oidipus by students of the Potchefstroom University College, using the L.J. du Plessis translation.

1938: Performed in Afrikaans as Koning Oidipus (the Theo Wassenaar version) by Volksteater, Pretoria. The performance took place in the main hall of the City Hall, Pretoria, 9-10 June 1938, and was directed by Isobel de Waal, with H.J. Oberholzer as Oidipus and Anna Neethling-Pohl as Iocasta. Set designed and painted by J.H. Pierneef and S. Schwartz, and costumes by Anna Botha. There were also four "toneelmeesters" (i.e. "stage managers"): W.P. de Villiers, Chris Neethling, A.J. du Plessis and S. Schwartz.

1955: The Wassenaar version of Koning Oidipus was performed professionally by National Theatre Organisation for the Pretoria Centenary celebrations. Directed by Johan de Meester, with André Huguenet and Anna Neethling-Pohl in the lead. Also featuring Francois Marais, Roelof Botha, Ben Cronjé, Andries Brink, Johan van Rensburg, Jannie Gildenhuys, Hannes Horne, Leendert Verdoorn. Décor and costumes by Frank Graves and lighting by Harry Ligoff.

Adaptations and influences of the original text

Like the myth, the Sophocles play has served as the basis for many adaptations and experiments over the years, both local and international.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus_the_King

https://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lys_van_vertalings_in_Afrikaans

P.J. Conradie, 1999

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus_(Seneca)

Helikon, 5(21), 1955.

Source: Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne (eds.). 1988. Theatre Alive! The Baxter Story 1977-1987.

Oedipus theatre programmes, PACT, 1971, 1990.

B. van Zyl Smit 2003 "The Receptions of Greek Tragedy in the 'Old' and the 'New' South Africa" in Akroterion 48 : 3-20)[5]

Betine van Zyl Smit. 2010. "Oedipus and Afrikaans Theater" in Comparative Drama (Vol. 44, No. 4: pp. 477-493)[6]


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

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It has also been immortalized in a way by Freud's concept of the "Oedipus complex"[7].


Oedipus by Seneca

Oedipus (Oidipus) is a tragic play that was written by Lucius Annaeus Seneca at some time during the 1st century AD. It is a retelling of the story of Oedipus, as told in Oedipus the King by the Athenian playwright, Sophocles. It is written in Latin and was not intended to be performed, but rather recited at private gatherings.


Oedipus by Ted Hughes

The English poet laureate Ted Hughes published a translation of Seneca's play in 1969.

This version of the play was presented by PACT Drama in 1971 in the Arena of the State Theatre under the direction of Schalk Jacobsz starring Jan Engelen, Joan Friedman, Frantz Dobrowsky, Nigel Vermaas, Marion Craig-Smith, Stephan Bouwer, Noel Roos and Will Bernard, choreographed by Francois Swart.

In 1980 the adaptation by Hughes was staged at the Baxter Theatre, directed by Barney Simon. The cast included Danny Keogh, Grethe Fox, Michael O'Brien, Joko Scott, Thoko Ntshinga, Richard Grant, Linda Harris, (Fiona Ramsay?) (and Robin Smith?).

A translation into Afrikaans by Noël Roos, Libé Ferreira and Johann van Heerden of this version, entitled Oidipus, was directed by Roos for the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department in October 1982, starring Albert Maritz, Libé Ferreira, Belinda Richardson, Antoinette Pienaar, Nicola van der Walt, Trudi Huskisson, Michelle Alberts, Isadora Verwey and Ilze Swanepoel.

Oedipus by Hugo Claus

Based on Seneca's Oedipus, translated into Afrikaans by Wim Vorster. Presented by SUKOVS Toneel in 1990, performed in the André Huguenet Theatre, Bloemfontein. Direction was by Jannie Gildenhuys, decor designed by Johnny Boerstoel, costumes by James Parker and lighting by Martin Pelser. Members of the cast were Gerben Kamper, Isadora Verwey, Cobus de Villiers, Ernst Eloff, Dorette Nel, James van Helsdingen, Marga van Rooy, Christo Compion, Marion Holm, Hennie Baird.

Greek by Stephen Berkoff

Oidipoes by Ben Dehaeck

A one-act version of the Oedipus story. **

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus_the_King

https://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lys_van_vertalings_in_Afrikaans

P.J. Conradie, 1999

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus_(Seneca)

Helikon, 5(21), 1955.

Source: Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne (eds.). 1988. Theatre Alive! The Baxter Story 1977-1987.

Oedipus theatre programmes, PACT, 1971, 1990.

B. van Zyl Smit 2003 "The Receptions of Greek Tragedy in the 'Old' and the 'New' South Africa" in Akroterion 48 : 3-20)[8]

Betine van Zyl Smit. 2010. "Oedipus and Afrikaans Theater" in Comparative Drama (Vol. 44, No. 4: pp. 477-493)[9]


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