La Puce à L'Oreille

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La Puce à L'Oreille("A Flea in Her Ear") [1] is a French comedy by Georges Feydeau (1862-1921) [2] written in 1907, at the height of the Belle Époque. Extremely popular farce, often done in South Africa. Often written La Puce à l'oreille in French.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English as A Flea in Her Ear by a number of writers, including John Mortimer [3] (Samuel French, 1960), by Barnett Shaw (Samuel French, 1966), and apparently by someone named "Samuel Benin" (unpublished, performed 1968).

Translated into Afrikaans by Nerina Ferreira as Hond se Gedagte (“Dog’s Idea/Thought”) (1971).

Performance history in South Africa

1968: A translation into English by someone called "Samuel Benin", directed by Albert Ninio, opening 30 May 1968 in the Alexander Theatre. Cast: Hal Orlandini, Barbara Itzler, Don McCorkindale, Kevin Basel, Mary Harrison, Shelagh Holliday, John McKelvey, James White, Gordon Mulholland, Brenda Kerry-Osrin, Gabriel Bayman, Margaret Fry, Wilfred Cosgrove, Max Angorn.

1970: Presented by the University of Cape Town’s Speech and Drama Department at the Little Theatre in December, directed by Aubrey Berg.

1971: Nerina Ferreira's Afrikaans translation Hond se Gedagte was produced at the Nico Malan Theatre to alternate with Koning Lear for the opening of the theatre in June 1971. Directed by Dieter Reible, starring Paul Slabolepszy, Trudi du Plessis, David Haynes, Pieter Geldenhuys, Liz Dick, Sandra Kotzé, Pieter Joubert, Johan Malherbe, Mees Xteen, Gay Morris, Fitz Morley, Nerina Ferreira, Willem de la Querra, Price Coetzee. Stage manager Mavis Lilenstein. The production returned to the Nico Malan Theatre for a fourth season on 18 December 1975 with some changes to the cast.

1973: Hond se Gedagte was staged by PACOFS, directed by Carel Trichardt, with Cobus Visser (Camille), Karin van Wyk (Antoinette), Henk Hugo (Etienne), Pieter Geldenhuys (Dr. Finache), Trudi du Plessis (Lucienne), Petru Wessels (Raymonde), Pieter Joubert (Victor Emmanuel & Poche), Pietro Nolte (Romain), Anton Welman (Carlos), Estelle de Waal (Eugenie), Raymond Davies (Augustine), Trudie Taljaard (Olympe), George Barnes (Baptistin) and Price Coetzee (Herr Schwarz).

1978: In line with their political stance, The Space (Cape Town) did a multiracial version of A Flea in Her Ear, directed and lit by Brian Astbury starring Peter Basford, Charles Comyn, Bill Curry, John Dennison, Andrea Fine, Errol Hart, Margaret Keegan, Mzwandile Ngxangane, Thoko Ntshinga, Michael O'Brien, Rodney Pienaar, John Ramsdale, Clare Stopford, Corinne Willoughby. Designer Maciek Miszewski. Stage managers Dorothy Watkins and Carol Noah.

1981: Hond se Gedagte was staged by PACT in the State Theatre, directed by Carel Trichardt, with Pierre van Pletzen (Camille), Amor Tredoux (Antoinette), William Egan (Etienne), Louis van Niekerk (Dr. Finache), Rika Sennett (Lucienne), Petru Wessels (Raymonde), Marius Weyers (Victor Emmanuel & Poche), Don Lamprecht (Romain), Nico Liebenberg (Carlos), Riana Wilkens (Eugenie), Tobie Cronje (Augustine), Alida Theron (Olympe), Johan Blignaut (Baptistin), Schalk Schoombie (Herr Schwarz) and Rita Ehlers (Fraülein Weissglück). Decor by Richard Cook and costumes by Tom Owen.

1981: Hond se Gedagte was staged by PACOFS, directed by Sandra Kotze, with Pieter Brand (Camille), Heloise Krynauw (Antoinette), Kym Thorburn (Etienne), Schalk Jacobsz (Dr. Finache), Antoinette Kellermann (Lucienne), Ronel Kriel (Raymonde), Johan Malherbe (Victor Emmanuel & Poche), Henry Mylne (Romain), Anton Welman (Carlos), Libby Daniels (Eugenie), Willem Vermaas (Augustine), Francesca Bantock (Olympe), Johan Brewis (Baptistin) and Hugo Taljaard (Herr Schwarz).

1988: Hond se Gedagte presented by CAPAB, directed by Sandra Kotzé, opening 19 December at the Nico Malan Theatre, with Cobus Rossouw, Jannie Gildenhuys, Antoinette Kellermann, Marthinus Basson, Neels Coetzee, Fiona Coyne, Gustav Geldenhuys, Ronel Kriel, André Roothman, Elma van Wijk, Joey de Koker, Phillip Boucher, Willie Fritz and Mark Hoeben. Costumes by Dicky Longhurst, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell. Original decor design by Roy Cooke rebuilt under the supervision of Pieter de Swardt.

1988: A Flea in her Ear was presented by The Drama, The Natal Playhouse, Durban, directed by Dieter Reible, on 3 - 31 December 1988.

2000: A Flea in her Ear was presented by the Muizenberg Amateur Dramatic Society, Cape Town.

2016: Hond se Gedagte was presented at the Woordfees 2016 [4] directed by Christiaan Olwagen.


"A Flea in Her Ear" in Wikipedia [5]

Teater SA, 1(1), 1968.

Inskip, 1972. p.156.

PACOFS theatre programme, 1973.

Astbury 1979.

PACT theatre programme, 1981.

PACT pamphlet June 1981.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research. P 75.

Hond se Gedagte (CAPAB) theatre programme, 1988.

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