Les Chaises

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Les Chaises is a tragic farce in one act by Eugène Ionesco (1909 –1994) [1].

The original text

Immensely popular absurdist[2] play about non-communication. First published in 1952.

First produced on 22 April 1952 at the Théâtre Lancry under the direction of Sylvain Dhomme.

Translations and adaptations

A South African version translated from the French into English as The Chairs by Richard Daneel.

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Stoele by Nerina Ferreira.

Performance history in South Africa

1959: Performed in the Richard Daneel English translation and directed by Richard Daneel for the NTO Kamertoneel, with Richard Daneel, David Herbert and Wilma Stockenström . Décor by Frank Graves. Stage manager Athol Fugard.

1970: The Ferreira Afrikaans translation, Die Stoele, was produced by KRUIK in November, directed by Peter Kleinschmidt, with Johan Malherbe (Die Ou Man), Grethe Fox (Die Ou Vrou) and Mees Xteen (Die Redenaar). Decor by Pieter de Swardt.

1979: A Don Maguire Production featured The Chairs and The Lesson in An Evening with Ionesco at the Baxter Theatre Studio. Directed by Don Maguire with Barbara Maguire, Richard Farmer and Don Maguire.

2001: Performed by the Honours students of the Stellenbosch Drama Department in the Klein Libertas Teater in Stellenbosch, directed by Minette Williams. Performed in tandem with Oranje, Blanke-Blou (by Petrus du Preez), from 31 May to 2 June.




Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne 1988.

Lantern, 9(2):192-197. Dec 1959.

The Chairs theatre programme, 1959.

KRUIK theatre programme (undated).

Theatre scrapbook held by NELM: [Collection: LILENSTEIN, Mavis]: 2007. 9. 25. 3. (KRUIK production, 1970).

Typed copy of the Ferreira Afrikaans text found in the Drama Department archives at Stellenbosch University.

Programme and prompt book for the 2001 Stellenbosch production of SA Rock Alternatief (2001).

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