La Ronde

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La Ronde is a play by German playwright Arthur Schnitzler [1] (1862-1931). Reigen [2] (La Ronde; Hands Around) (written 1896-97, printed 1900). The play consists of ten sketches - ten private meetings between ten couples. It scrutinizes the sexual morals and class ideology of its day through a series of encounters between pairs of characters (shown before or after a sexual encounter). By choosing characters across all levels of society, the play offers social commentary on how sexual contact transgresses boundaries of class. Schnitzler's play was not publicly performed until 1920, on 23 December 1920 in Berlin and 1 February 1921 in Vienna. The play elicited violent critical and popular reactions against its subject matter. The titles of the play—in German Reigen and in French La Ronde refer to a round dance, as portrayed in the English nursery rhyme Ring a Ring o' Roses.

Performance history in South Africa

1978: The Eternal Dance, the adaptation by Brian Astbury was directed, designed and lit by him at The Space (Cape Town) in 1978, starring Gillian Burl, Andrea Fine, Peter Fourie, Errol Hart, Bill Jervis and Corinne Willoughby. Costumes by Birrie le Roux.

1987: Baxter Theatre/Chacma production directed by Mark Legward starring himself with Odette Leat, Gaye Barbour, Tim Mahoney, Kathy Clark.

2013: Jacqui Singer with UCT students, Arena Theatre , Cape Town.

Liefdeskringloop, directed by James Blankenberg, assisted by Shirley Ellis, was performed at the UCT Arena in May/June 1985. Costume and set design by Marthinus Basson. Cast members were Alexandra Murphy, Mark Fleishman, Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Robert Finlayson, Sandi Schultz, Lionel Newton, Susan Dall, Gideon de Wet, Isadora Verwey, Mark Hoeben.

Mallemeulwals was first performed at the Oude Libertas Theatre in Stellenbosch in January 1998, directed by Ilse van Hemert, with Sandra Prinsloo and Ian Roberts and dancers Samantha Pienaar and Lanon Prigge. Lighting designer and stage manager Kobus Rossouw, costumes by René Fourie. The same production was staged in the Thabong Theatre at The Civic in February 1998 and at the KKNK later in 1998.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted as The Eternal Dance by Brian Astbury.

Translated by James Blanckenberg into Afrikaans, titled Liefdeskringloop.

Translated from the German into Afrikaans by Arnold Blumer with the title Mallemeulwals.


Wikipedia [3].

World Drama by Allardyce Nicoll. Harrap, 1949.

Astbury 1979.

Liefdeskringloop programme, 1985.

Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne 1988.

Mallemeulwals theatre programme, 1998.

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