Les Fourberies de Scapin

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Les Fourberies de Scapin (literally, "The Deceits of Scapin") [1] is a 1671 three-act comedy by the French playwright Molière (1622–1673) [2].

The original text

Based on the Scapino character from the commedia dell'arte[3], the story apparently derives from the Roman-Greek farce, Phormio by Terence, which in its turn was based on a play by Apollodorus of Carystus. The play was first staged on 24 May 1671 in the theatre of the Palais-Royal in Paris by the Troupe du Roi. First published 18 August 1671, and in collected editions in 1671 and 1682.

Translations and adaptations


Translated into English under a range of titles and adapted in many versions, including Scapino! (Frank Dunlop, Jim Dale, 1975), and The Impostures of Scapin (Charles Heron Wall), Scapin (Bill Irwin, Mark O'Donnell, 1997), etc.

English translation adapted for the stage and set in the Cape Peninsula by Andrew Miller in 1976 under the title That Skelm Scapino .


Translated into Afrikaans as Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino ("The trickeries of Scapino") by Bartho Smit in 1958.

Smit's translation was adapted by Sandra Temmingh under the title Skelmstreke ("Trickeries").

Performance history in South Africa

1809: Performed in the French original on 2 December 1809 , along with a presentation entitled La Fantasmagorie, by a new Dutch-French company, led by J.H. Meurant, but possibly with the help of J. Riaux.

1958: Performed in the Bartho Smit Afrikaans translation, Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino by National Theatre Organisation in 1958, directed by Jannie Gildenhuys with Siegfried Mynhardt, Cobus Rossouw, Tilana Hanekom, Pieter Geldenhuys, Jannie Gildenhuys, Kita Redelinghuys, Anton Grobler, Leonora Nel and Johan van Zyl. A prologue written by Gildenhuys was recited by Tilana Hanekom. Décor by Frank Graves, costumes by Doreen Graves and music composed by Peter Rorke.

Repeated by **

1960s: Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino toured by CAPAB as a library production.

1963: Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino performed by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch, directed by Jo Gevers, with Franz Marx, Jo Gevers, Piet van Straaten, Gertie Smith-Visser, Henk Hugo, Deon Joubert, Carmen Haddad, Annatjie Vorster, Antoinette Terblanche, Gisela Täger.

1964?: Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino staged by the UTB (Die Universiteitstoneelgroep van Bloemfontein), directed by Jo Gevers, with himself in the role of "Scapino".

1965: Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino directed by Jo Gevers with the Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch, again with himself in the lead role, in June 1965.

1967: Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino performed by PACT, directed by Franz Marx with Louis van Niekerk (Geronte), Don Lamprecht (Silvester), Marius Weyers (Leander).

1973: Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino performed by PACOFS, directed by Errol Ross with Ernst Eloff and Jannie Gildenhuys.

1976: The Andrew Miller adaptation That Skelm Scapino was staged by PACT, directed by Robin Malan, with Etienne Puren (Scapino), Laurika Rauch (Muriel & Nerina), Garth Tuckett (Tony), Peter Terry (Siewies), Elize Cawood (Cynthia), Robin Malan (Arthur), Alwyn Swart (Gerrit), At Botha (Lennie) and Suzanne Goldberg (Sarah).

1985: Scapino! (adapted by Dunlop and Dale) presented by the Arts Theatre Club at the East London Guild Theatre, directed by Margery Moodie, with Rina Ferreira, Manu Chiba, Paul du Plessis, George Mountjoy, Linden Knoetze, Mike Ormston, Nic Bodenstein, Jim Purkis, Kelly Stocks, Joe van Zeeland, Thuys van der Merwe, Brian Bedford, Christine Imbert, Anna Kurgan.

1986: Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino performed by CAPAB, directed by Jannie Gildenhuys with Neels Coetzee (Argante), André Roothman (Geronte), Mark Graham (Ottavio), David Butler (Leandro), Victoria Bawcombe (Zerbinetta), Claire Berlein (Giacinta), Marthinus Basson (Scapino), David Butler (Silvestro). Design by Jenny de Swardt, lighting design by Malcolm Hurrell.

2007: Smit's translation adapted by Sandra Temmingh as Skelmstreke and directed by her for the Suidoosterfees with David Isaacs, Nicola Hanekom and Mbulelo Grootboom.






F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 128

Helen Jordan, 1898. Terence's Phormio as the Basis for Molière's Les Fourberies de Scapin[5]


Lantern, 7(4):375-380. 1958.

PACT theatre programme, 1976.

UTS theatre pamphlet.

Listing of productions in the UTS programme for Arms and the Man, H.B. Thom Theatre, Stellenbosch, 1968 (held in ESAT Archive)

PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988

Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research. p 415

Jakkalsstreke van Scapino theatre programme (CAPAB), 1986.

Die Burger 13 January 2007.

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