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Johannisfeuer ("Fires of St. John") is a German play in four acts by Hermann Sudermann (1857-1928)[1].

The original text

The plot deals with a love triangle between the daughter of a landed proprietor, her cousin who she is engaged to, and her Gypsy adoptive sister who also is in love with the cousin. The drama culminates on a Saint John's Eve which is loaded with both Christian and pre-Christian symbols. The theme of the play is gratitude and dependence, and the bounds it can create.[1]

Published as Johannisfeuer and described as a "Schauspiel in vier Akten" by Cotta in 1900.

Translations and adaptations

The stage text has been translated into English as The Fires of St John[[2]] and was presented for the first time on the American stage in Boston on 21 January, 1904[3] and published by J. W. Luce in the same year. Also referred to as Saint John's Fire.

Translated into Afrikaans as Liefdesvuur ("love's fire") by ** in 1940.

The play was adapted for film on three occasions: in 1916 under the title The Flames of Johannis, directed by Edgar Lewis[4], in 1939 as Midsummer Night's Fire, directed by Arthur Maria Rabenalt[5], and in 1954 as Love is Forever, directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner[6]

Performance history in South Africa

1940: Performed in Afrikaans by Volksteater in Pretoria.

1945: Performed in Afrikaans K.A.T., directed by Hélène Pienaar-De Klerk and Mavis de Villiers in March with Jan Bruyns as "Vogelreuter", Hélène Pienaar-De Klerk, Sappie Botha, Gilles du Plessis, Arin Carstens, Gert Pretorius, Catherina Meiring, Gideon Horn.


Huisgenoot. 30(1224):3, 1945.

Trek,9(20):15, 1945.

Helikon, 1(5), 1952.

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