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Menaechmi ("The Twins") is a Latin comedy by Titus Maccius Plautus (254-184 B.C.).

The original text

It belongs to the type of comedy called by the Romans "fabula palliata" because the characters in it wore Greek costume, rather than the distinctive Roman toga. This comedy is about the misadventures caused by the presence in one city of long-separated twins.

Translations and adaptations

The play has been translated and adapted in various ways, and has been the source of many other works.

The original Latin play was translated by various people over the years, including Hansell Hewitt.

The play was the major source for William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, and to a lesser extent perhaps of Twelfth Night.

Adapted into Italian by Carlo Goldoni in 1747 as I Due Gemelli Veneziani ("The two Venetian twins", also formally translated and published as The Venetian Twins in English)

The Goldoni version was adapted as a comic drama in three acts called I Tre Gemelli Veneziani ("The three Venetian twins") is by Antonio Collalto Mattiuzzi. Originally written in Italian when Mattiuzzi was at the Theatre Italien in Paris (1759-1778).

The Mattiuzzi version was in turn translated into French as Les Trois Jumeaux Vénitiens ("The three Venetian twins") by P.-A. Lefèvre de Marcouville, into Spanish as Los Tres Mellizos ("The three twins") and into Dutch as De Venetiaanse Drielingen ("The Venetian triplets"), both the latter by anonymous translators. It was also adapted and translated into English as Three and the Deuce! by Prince Hoare and Stephen Storace.

A radical South African localized adaptation called Waaihoek se Vinkel en Koljander was written in Afrikaans by Nico Luwes (2000/2001)

Performance history in South Africa

For performances of the adapted versions, see the entries on the plays in question.

Performances of the play by Plautus:

1969: In April 1969 Hansell Hewitt directed a production of the original play at the Rhodes Theatre starring Noel Roos, Peter Terry, John Badenhorst, Chris Weare, Betty Asprey, Nan Grey, Colin Steyn, Marguerite Poland (as Erotium), Dugald Thomson and John Burch. Sailors and slaves: Anthony Akerman, Graham Pollock, Terry Owen and Christopher Williams. Music by Albert Honey. It was presented in a double bill with Mak, the Sheep-Stealer.


World Drama by Allardyce Nicoll. 120.

Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani[

A programme, flyers and photographs held by NELM: [Collection: Rhodes University. Drama Department]: 2006. 6. 5. 2.

"Mattuizzi, Antonio" in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Volume 72 (2008)[1]

Facsimile of the 1806 text of The Three and the Deuce! (Google eBook)[2]

Facsimile text of the 1781 Dutch version, Europeana: Think Culture[3]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 184,

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