Kringe in 'n Bos

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Kringe in 'n Bos ("Circles in a Forest") is the name of (a) an award winning and best-selling novel by Dalene Matthee ()[], (b) an adaptation of the novel for the stage and (c) a film

The novel

The novel is set in the 19th century, telling a of the coming-of-age of Saul Barnard a woodcutter in and around the Knysna, and the impact of a gold rush on the Outeniqua forest, its indigenous residents and on the Knysna elephants. The novel was published by Tafelberg Uitgewers in 1984, the first of series of four "forest novels" by Matthee, all set in the Knysna forest -the others being Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child, 1985), Moerbeibos ("The Mulberry Forest", 1987) and Toorbos (2003). It quickly became a best-selling novel, being translated into English (as Circles in a Forest), Portuguese, Dutch, French, Icelandic, Spanish, Hebrew, German, Swedish, Italian, Finnish and Norwegian, and becoming the source of stage and film versions.

The play

Kringe in 'n Bos by Peet van Rensburg is described as a "retelling" of the story by Peet van Rensburg of Matthee's novel.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1987: Produced by PACOFS, directed by Peet van Rensburg starring Paul Lückhoff (Saul), Jannie Gildenhuys (Joram), Cedwyn Joel (Hans Oukas/Maska), Gustav Geldenhuys (Barclay/Patterson), Franz Gräbe (Josef/McDonald/Crompton), Isabelle Fourie (Kate/Caroline), Annemarie Rauh (Verteller/Mev Stopforth), Dawie Maritz (Oom Anneries). Decor by Joe Coetzee, lighting by Wladdyslaw Czerepowicz.

1988: The PACOFS production was presented in association with CAPAB at the Nico Malan Theatre 11-27 February, the Bellville Civic Theatre 1-5 March, the Guild Theatre East London 8 March and the Opera House Port Elizabeth 10-12 March.

1991: Louis van Niekerk directed a production by TRUK Toneel at the Momentum Theatre, Pretoria and the Adcock-Ingram, Johannesburg in 1991 starring André-Jacques van der Merwe, Hannes Muller, Peter Holden, Riva Schoeman, André Lombard, Bill Curry, and Hélène Truter as the narrator, Mrs Stopforth and Caroline MacDonald, later replaced by Antoinette Kellermann in all three roles. Design by Joe Coetzee, lighting by Jacques Mulder.

1996: Presented by KRUIK Toneel in The Arena at the Nico Malan Theatre in June 1996, directed by Jannie Gildenhuys, with Gavin van den Berg, Jana van Niekerk, Goliath Davids, Neels Coetzee, Pierre Neethling, Jannie Gildenhuys and Jeroen Kranenburg.

2004: First performed in the Orange Free State in 2004* by and then directed by Marinda Engelbrecht for Artscape in 2004, with Johan Gilliam Winckler, Cindy Swanepoel, Royston Stoffels, Ivan Abrahams, Francois Toerien, Lorraine Burger and Deon Lotz and again for Artscape (in collaboration with the Western Cape Education Department and the Stigting vir die Bemagtiging van Afrikaans), in 2006-7, featuring Johan Gilliam Winckler, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Ivan Abrahams, Francois Toerien, Lorraine Burger and Deon Lotz at the Joseph Stone Theatre from 22 May to 02 June 2006. Remounted once more 2007 it featured Geon Nel, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Francois Toerien, Ivan Abrahams, Deon Lotz and Lorraine Burger.

The film

The English version of the novel was adapted into a South African film called Circles in a Forest in 1990, and focussing on the story of Saul Barnard who befriends an elephant as a child, and later goes back to rescue it as a man. The film was produced by and directed by Regardt van den Bergh with a script by Fabrice Ziolkowski and Luli Barzman

The vast cast[1] included Ian Bannen, Brion James, Joe Stewardson, Judi Trott, Arnold Vosloo, Christo Niehaus, Danielle Crouse, Joanna Palmer, Nic van Rensburg, Albert Maritz, Liam Cundill, Dulcie van den Bergh, Prince Mokhini, Shareen Swart, Lynne White, Scott J. Ateah, Gillian Garlick, Ingrid Emslie, Dorette Potgieter, Wilson Dunster, David Sherwood, Charles Comyn, Michael Brunner, Johan Botha, Leslie Mongezi, Anthony Wilson, Jurgen Hellberg, Douglas Bristow, David Butler, Dennis Folbigge, Bart Fouche, Graham Armitage, Peter Tunstall, Thys Du Plooy, Thys du Plooy, Anthony Fridjhon (as Anthony Fridjohn), Robert Travallyan, Louis Minnaar, Rick Skidmore, Philip van der Byl and Abu (as "Old Foot" the elephant).


PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988

Kringe in 'n Bos theatre programmes 1988, 1991, 1996.

Volksblad, 13 April 1988.

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