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At least six stage plays have been written about the assassination of South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd (1901-1966)[1] by Dimitri Tsafendas (1918–1999)[2], with three of them bearing this title.

Plays with other titles are ID by Antony Sher, Conversations with a Tapeworm by Ian Hadfield, and Famous Dead Man by Matthew Krouse and Robert Colman (1985). (Anton Krueger's play discussed below is also known by the title Living in Strange Lands.)

For discussions of the plays known by the title "Tsafendas", see the sub-entries below, for the rest, see click on the given title above.

Tsafendas by William Tanner

The full title is Tsafendas, or An enquiry into the circumstances of the death of the late Dr. the honourable Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd

The original text

It is a play in two parts written for the Space Theatre by William Tanner. First produced in South Africa by The Space (Cape Town) in 1976 as the last production to run in its first venue. Directed by Dorrian McLaren with Charles Comyn (as Tsafendas), Bill Curry, Andrea Fine, Chris Galloway, John Nankin, Jacqui Singer, Robin Smith and Stan Wrigley. Design by Adrian Kohler and Cliff Bestall, lighting by Brian Astbury and stage management by Totti Ebrahim. Published by **??


NELM: [Collection: SIMON, Barney]: 2003. 90. 700 (Manuscript?).

Astbury 1979.

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Tsafendas by L.D. van der Merwe

A play in four acts by L.D. van der Merwe.

A copy held by DALRO

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Tsafendas by Anton Krueger

Also known as Living in Strange Lands (stage play) and Living in Strange Lands: The Tsafendas Story (radio).

The original text

The play starts off in September, 1966, just after Tsafendas has just been arrested and plays out over three nights, the time-frame moving imperceptibly from soon after Tsafendas’ incarceration, until almost twenty-five years later, when he is still on death row.

The stage play was first performed in 2001 at theWits Downstairs Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, directed by Jose Domingos, with Renos Nicos Spanoudes in the role of Tsafendas. It was one of Krueger's most critically acclaimed works and was awarded a special trophy by the South African Community Theatre Association in 2001, and was nominated for a Vita Award and was the runner up for the Olive Schreiner Award. It was staged all over South Africa, as well as in Venezuela. In 2009 it was revived for the Proyecto festival of South African theatre in Buenos Aries, Argentina.


Adapted as a text for radio by the author, entitled: Living in Strange Lands: The Tsafendas Story (2018).


Text of the radio play (copy in ESAT archive)

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