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Panorama can refer to a theatrical form, to a South African journal, or to a South African play (and later novel).

Panorama as a theatrical form

In the mid-19th century, panoramic paintings and models became a very popular way to represent landscapes, topographic views and historical events. Audiences of Europe in this period were thrilled by the aspect of illusion, immersed in a winding 360 degree panorama and given the impression of standing in a new environment.

A distinction is sometimes made between a simple panorama and a moving panorama, of which Albert Smith seems to have been a leading innovator in England. Once again, they would on occasion be part of an evening's entertainment and include narration by a presenter, music and songs, dances, etc.

The term crops up occasionally in discussions of entertainments in South Africa, especially during the late 19th century

For more information on the theatrical uses of the term , see the entry on Diorama

Panorama, a South African journal

The official title was the South African Panorama (or sometimes South African Panorama Magazine) and it was published by the South African Information Service, Department of Information from 1956-1994. It continued as a privately funded magazine for a few years, now named African Panorama, then ceased existence in 1998.

For more info, see the entry on South African Panorama.

Panorama, a play (and novel) by Pieter-Dirk Uys (1945-)

The original text

First performed in 1987 and published in Paradise is Closing Down and Other Plays by Penguin on August 31, 1989. Text available in Afrikaans and in English versions.

Translations and adaptations

Uys used the play as the basis for a novel of the same name, published by Missing Ink in 2013.

Performance history in South Africa

1987: First produced on 5th July at the Grahamstown Festival: Directed by Pieter-Dirk Uys, with Lynne Maree, Susan Coetzer-Opperman, Thoko Ntshinga, Richard van der Westhuizen.

1988 Pretoria/JHB: Directed by Pieter-Dirk Uys, with Lyn Hooker, Susan Coetzer-Opperman, Thoko Ntshinga, Robin Smith.

1988 Cape Town: Bo Petersen, Marion Holm, Lulu Gallo, Peter Krummeck – dir: Ralph Lawson. Produced by Basil Rubin and Pieter-Dirk Uys.

Performance history abroad

1988 London King’s Head Theatre: Directed by Penny Cherns with Jemma Redgrave, Natasha Williams, Diana Kent, Ken Sharrock.


Pieter-Dirk Uys. 1989. Paradise is Closing Down and Other Plays, Penguin Publishers.

Nadia Kamies 2013 "Panorama: A book review", LitNet (2013-09-17)[1]

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