Die Nag van Legio

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Die Nag van Legio ("The Night of Legion") is an Afrikaans play by P.G. du Plessis (1934-2017).

Often referred to simply as Nag van Legio.

The original text

A magic-realist play about the inmates of an insane asylum, who become pawns in a battle between good and evil fought out by one of their number and a stranger who arrives that night.

Written in the late 1960s, it was Du Plessis's first play. Produced by PACT and first published by Nasionale Pers Boekhandel in 1969. A critically acclaimed work, it was instrumental (in conjunction with Siener in die Suburbs) in winning the author the coveted Hertzog Prize for Drama in 1972.

Translations and adaptations

Du Plessis himself reworked the play for women in 1990, as commissioned piece for PACOFS. In this version the play is about a group of women in an asylum who, on the eve of their move to a new institution, get a new roommate, Maluna. Maluna plays an evil game to settle an old score, choosing Hanna as her victim.

Translated into English as My Name is Legion in 1993 by Du Plessis himself.

In 2014 the female version was adapted for radio and broadcast on 29 May in celebration of the playwright's 80th birthday.

Performance history in South Africa

1969: First performed in the Breytenbach Theatre in Pretoria by PACT, directed by Truida Louw and featuring i.a. Carel Trichardt, Louis van Niekerk and Schalk Jacobsz.

1970: Staged by PACT, directed by Francois Swart, with Louis van Niekerk (Dogoman), Marius Weyers (Dirk Jooste), Carel Trichardt (Oubaas Menge), Schalk Jacobsz (Charley van Zyl), Don Lamprecht (Claasens), William Egan (Jakkie), Nigel Vermaas (Dokter) and Errol Ross (Verpleër). Also featuring Raymond Davies and Laurie van der Merwe. Design by David MacKenzie.

1972: Staged by PACOFS, directed by William Egan, with Ernst Eloff (Dogoman), Neels Coetzee (Dirk Jooste), Jannie Gildenhuys (Oubaas Menge), Errol Ross (Charley van Zyl), Gerrit Geertsema (Claasens), Leon Cloete (Jakkie), William Egan (Dokter) and Pieter Crous (Verpleër). Design by Jan Hamers.

1973?: Staged by the University of Pretoria Drama Department, directed by Louwrens Odendaal, with Carel Trichardt (Dogoman), Lochner de Kock (Dirk Jooste), Ben Kruger (Oubaas Menge), André Retief (Charley van Zyl), Pieter Brandt (Claasens), Corne Joubert (Jakkie), Schalk Schoombie (Dokter) and Eben Cruywagen (Verpleër).

1976: Presented by KRUIK Afrikaanse Toneel at the Nico Malan Theatre directed by Cobus Rossouw, assisted by Marko van der Colff, opening 26 February. Design by Raimond Schoop, lighting by John T. Baker. Senior stage manager Martin Crous. The cast: André Rossouw (Dogoman), Neels Coetzee (Dirk Jooste), Siegfried Mynhardt (Oubaas Menge), Pierre van Pletzen (Charley van Zyl), Chris Truter (Claassens), Etienne Pienaar (Jakkie), Pieter Joubert (Dokter) and Marko van der Colff (Verpleër).

1990: The female version performed in the Bloemfontein Civic Centre by PACOFS 17 May - 2 June, using the original decor design for PACT's 1970 production. Directed by ** with Isadora Verwey as Maluna (Dogoman in the original play), Marion Holm as Hanna, Marie Pentz, Marga van Rooy, Anna Richter-Visser, Marlene van Heerden, Christo Compion (as the doctor) and Maria de Koker.

1991: The female version performed by the students of the Stellenbosch University Drama Departement in the H.B. Thom Theatre during May. Directed by Marthinus Basson with Ilze Bezuidenhout, Celeste Slabber, Nanine Wessels, Tanya ven der Merwe, Theresa van As, Delia Kruger, Chris Vorster, Sandra Fourie.

1993: An English translation, My Name is Legion, was broadcast on Radio Africa's Monday Night Playhouse.

2002: The female version performed by the students of the Stellenbosch University Drama Departement in the H.B. Thom Theatre during May. Directed by Marthinus Basson with

2014: The female version, adapted for radio, is broadcast on RSG's series Radioteater in celebration of the playwright's 80th birthday. Featured are Amanda Strydom, Elsabe Zietsman, Elize Cawood, Elma Postma, Karen Wessels, Marina Coetzee and Melt Sieberhagen.

2017: The original male version performed in the Nelspruit Stadsteater by Albert Maritz Productions at the Inniebos Fees ("In the bush festival") on 4-8 July. Directed by Albert Maritz, with André Roothman, Gerben Kamper, Deon Lotz, Duncan Johnson, Hein Poole, Francois Potgieter, Francois Jacobs, Riaan Visman. Set design and lighting by Gaerin Hauptfleisch and Albert Maritz.


PACT theatre programme (undated).

Review by Raeford Daniel, The Rand Daily Mail, 19 November 1970.

PACOFS theatre programme, 1972.

University of Pretoria Drama Department theatre programme (undated).

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Die Nag van Legio theatre programme, 1976.

Die Volksblad, 10 May 1990.

Cape Times 20 May 1991.

UTS theatre programme, 1991.



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