Mirakel

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Mirakel ("miracle") is by a play Reza de Wet (1952-2012).

The original text

A magical-realist work about a touring theatre company led by "Dante du Pré" (or simply "Du Pre" in the English version) , a character loosely based on legendary Afrikaans actor-manager André Huguenet, who perform the medieval "morality play"[1] Elkeman (i.e. Everyman) in an abandoned Roman Catholic church in a rural town, and the miraculous consequences of this event on the lives of the performers. (Du Pré wrongly refers to Elkeman as a "mystery play"[2] - also known as a "miracle play" - hence the title of De Wet's work).

First published by HAUM Literêr as part of a trilogy entitled Trits: Mis - Mirakel - Drif (1993). The collection won De Wet the Hertzog Prize for Drama in 1993.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English as Miracle by Reza de Wet and Steven Stead and published by Oberon Books in Plays One by Reza de Wet (also containing Missing and Crossing) in 2000.

Performance history in South Africa

1992: Performed at the National Arts Festival, directed by Stephan Bouwer with Patrick Mynhardt, Annelisa Weiland, Dawid Minnaar, Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Frantz Dobrowsky and Lerina Erasmus. Stage manager Anna Carrilho, Lighting Michael Carklin, Set design by John Porter. This production was repeated in the Momentum Theatre, Pretoria and the Amphitheatre of the University of the Witwatersrand

1994: Staged by CAPAB in February 1994 in the Arena Theatre at the Nico Malan Theatre, directed by Marthinus Basson with Mary Dreyer (Winner Fleur du Cap Award for Best Supporting Actress), Louw Verwey, Sandra Temmingh, Jan Ellis, Neels Coetzee, Mary Dreyer and Michelle Scott. Design by Peter Cazalet, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell, music by Stefan Temmingh.

1996: Scenes from the play were performed by seven final year University of Stellenbosch drama students in the Kellerteater at the University, directed by lecturer Shirley Johnston, with a cast including Paul du Toit, Angerie van Wyk, Martelize Kolver, Leanna Dreyer, Nicole Holm , Amelda Brand and Nico Dreyer. Set design and lighting by Kobus Rossouw. In a rare exchange, the production was also performed for and debated by the UCT drama staff and students, in the Drama Department of the University of Cape Town.

2010: Miracle performed in English (in Steven Stead’s translation) by KickstArt in the Square Space Theatre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in June.

2013 Staged in Afrikaans by University of Cape Town students, directed by Sandra Temmingh, Arena Theatre Cape Town

International performances

2002: Performed as Miracle at the White Barn Theatre, Westport, Connecticut in July.

2009: Performed in Holborn, London, in December, with Susannah York as Salome.

2010: Performed at the Leicester Square Theatre in January 2010 with the same cast.

2011: Performed at the Hen and Chicken Theatre in Islington, 23rd August – 3rd September.

Sources

1992 National Arts Festival Souvenir Programme, p. 65.

Review by Andrea Vinassa in Vrye Weekblad, 31 July 1992.

Mirakel theatre programme (CAPAB), 1994.

Cape Argus 4 February 1994.

Text of Mirakel in Trits: Mis - Mirakel - Drif (Pretoria, HAUM Literêr: 1993).

Gordon Dickerson. 2018. Personal correspondence with Temple Hauptfleisch.

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