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(“Eldest sister”) by H.A. Fagan. A fine chronicle play in three acts about the crises and sacrifices in the life of Nelie (the “Ousus” of the title). Possibly Fagan’s best work. Full-length. Cast: mixed.

The original text

First published in 1936 (in the collection Die Ouderling en ander toneelstukke) by ** .

Fagan was awarded the Hertzog Prize for Drama in 1935 for Die ouderling en ander toneelstukke which include Ouderling, Ousus, Ruwe Erts and Rooibruin Blare.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1935: First performed by K.A.T. in the Koffiehuis in Cape Town opening 25 October 1935 (directed by Queenie Fagan with Renée du Plessis in the lead role)

1935 or 1936: Performed by the Volksteater (then still called Ons Teatertjie) in Pretoria, directed by Leonie Pienaar and Neep van der Merwe.

1972: Presented by KRUIK Drama opening 3 August 1972 at the H.B. Thom Theatre and 31 August 1972 at the Nico Malan Theatre , directed by Suzanne van Wijk, decor by Pieter de Swardt, costumes by Eunice Pengelly. Mavis Lilenstein was the stage manager. The cast: Annette Engelbrecht (Nelie), Trudi du Plessis (Mina), Anna Cloete (Mevrou Venter), Mees Xteen (Hendrik Jooste), Roelf Laubscher (Oupa), Pierre Knoesen (Fanie).


Nel, F.J. 1972, p.23.

Ousus theatre programme, 1972.

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