Mariken van Nieumeghen

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A late medieval Dutch playtext from the early 16th century. The protagonist of the play spends seven years with the devil, after which she is miraculously released. The oldest edition dates from 1515 and was printed by Willem Vorsterman and linguistic evidence suggests it was written by a poet from a chamber of rhetoric (Rederijkerskamer) in Antwerp. A classic text for schools and universities, it has been translated into modern Dutch and many other languages over the years, and is a popular fable in the middle east.

The story has been adapted for film twice, in 1974 by Jos Stelling and in 2000 by André van Duren.

Mariken van Nieumeghen in South Africa

An Afrikaans translation by Alewyn Lee, based on a Middle-Dutch edition by H. J. J. M. Van der Merwe, was done under the title Marietjie van Nijmegen. Published by the Suid-Afrikaanse Uitsaaikorporasie (SABC) Johannesburg, 1963, and broadcast in the Afrikaans series: Meesterdrama

A translation into Afrikaans by Rob Antonissen was directed by Elize Scheepers in Potchefstroom in June 1980, with Roeloff van den Bergh, Sulette Thompson, Gerrit Schoonhoven, Elize Venter, Karen Meiring in the cast. Decor by Joe Coetzee.

The text is widely studied in Afrikaans and Dutch courses, and has been produced for stage in South Africa in English entitled Mary of Nimmegen by Fred Engelen and the Little Theatre Players in Cape Town in February 1962.


Inskip, 1972. p.147.

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