Night Must Fall

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Night Must Fall (1935) is a play by Emlyn Williams. A psychological thriller about a psychopathic bell boy and his relationship with a young woman and her mother.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans as Doodvonnis by Willem Kemp and performed by the André Huguenet Company in 19**. Huguenet’s choice of this psychological thriller was because of this work’s amazing success in London written and performed by Emlyn Williams. The audience undergoes the psychological unraveling of the private life of a bell boy who becomes good friends with a young lady who’s mother becomes the next victim to this psychopathic bell boy.

Another translation by Anna Meyer is entitled Agter die Masker.

Performance history in South Africa

1940: Presented by African Theatres, produced by Leontine Sagan, starring herself , André Huguenet and Johann Nell in 1940.

1948: Presented by the Brian Brooke Company with Brian Brooke as Danny, Lawrence Ayris as the detective. Directed by visiting British director Mary Byron.

1953: Presented by East London Technical College Drama Club at John Bisseker Hall, East London, produced by Elaine Shaw.

1965: Staged in November 1965 by the Libertas Theatre Club in The Cellar in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, directed by Marie van Heerden, with Jane Turner (Mrs. Bramson), Thea Kirstein (Olivia), Annette Muller (Nurse Libby), Boela Holloway (Hubert ), Jill de Klerk (Mrs. Terence), Joan Nel (Dora), Peter Viljoen (Belsize) and Jimmy Aligianis (Dan). Music by Enrique Breytenbach (piano) and Van Zyl Hough (violin), lighting by Pieter de Swardt and decór by Johann van Heerden.

1967: Presented by Langford-Inglis at the Intimate Theatre, directed by Margaret Inglis and Robert Langford, opening 15 August 1967, starring Richard Tomlinson, Rosemary Whitfield, Shelagh Holliday and Anne Curteis.

1979: UPE Theatrum and the Young ‘Uns of the Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival presented Emlyn Williams’ Night Must Fall at the Port Elizabeth Opera House from August 23 - 25, 1979. Directed by Hercules Pitsiladis. Starring Janet Blignaut (Mrs Bramson), Jeanette Mets (Olivia Grayne), Patrick Scott (Hubert Laurie), Diane Willis (Nurse Libby), Janis Harvey (Mrs Terence), Jacqui Lorrimer (Dora Parkot), Hercules Pitsiladis (Inspector Belsize) and Trevor Hicks (Dan).


Theatre programme (Libertas Theatre).

Brooke 1978, p.178.

Photograph of the cast, 1967 production, The Rand Daily Mail, 11 August 1967.

Performing Arts, HSRC, 1972.

Wikipedia [1]'

Night Must Fall theatre programme, 1979.

Arts Theatre Club archive held by George Mountjoy.

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