The original text
Written in French in 1941, when Paris was occupied by Germany. The story is set in the 1930s, among a troupe of travelling performers and combines skepticism about romance in general and the intensity of the relationship between Orpheus and Eurydice with an other-worldly mysticism. The result is a heavily ironic modern retelling of the classical Orpheus myth.
First performed in Paris at the Théâtre de l'Atelier on 18 December 1941.
Translations and adaptations
Best known in English by the title Point of Departure, as adapted and translated by Kitty Black. It was performed in London at the Duke of York's Theatre, London in 1951 with Dirk Bogarde and Hugh Griffith. Performed under the title of Legend of Lovers on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre on 26 December 1951, with Richard Burton, Dorothy McGuire, and Hugh Griffith.
Performance history in South Africa
1952: The Kitty Black English translation Point of Departure was directed by Leonard Schach for the Little Theatre Players in June. Décor by Cecil Pym. The cast: Joyce Bradley, David de Keyser, Pieter Geldenhuys, Donald Inskip, Paul Malherbe, Percy Sieff, Connie Dix-Hart, David Phillip, George Yeatman, Paul Vierya, Barbara Kramer and Harry Hargreaves.
1968: Van der Merwe Afrikaans translation Kringloop van die Liefde was produced by PACT and opened on 18 September in the Alexander Theatre, directed by Francois Swart, with Marius Weyers (Orpheus), Carel Trichardt (Vader van Orpheus), Sandra Prinsloo (Eurydike), Thea Kirstein (Moeder van Euridike), James Norval (Vincent), Laurie van der Merwe (Monsieur Henri), Louis van Niekerk (Dulac), Louw Verwey (Kelner), Anna Cloete (Kassier), Christopher Hale (Mathias), Katinka Heyns (1e Meisie), Sheryl Stewardson (2e Meisie), Cobus Viljoen (Verhoogbestuurder) and Gerrit Geertsema (Klerk). Decor by Raimond Schoop and costumes by Aubrey Couling.
1970/1979?: The Le Roux Afrikaans translation Legende van die Liefde was performed by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in May in the H.B. Thom Theatre, directed by Ria Olivier and Fred le Roux, starring Fred Nel, Fred le Roux, Juanita Swanepoel, Ben Dehaeck, Jan Engelen, Marietha Snyman, Johann van Heerden, Herman Pretorius, and others.
1978: The Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival Young ‘uns in conjunction with AFS International Scholarships, (American Field Service) presented Point of Departure at the Port Elizabeth Opera House from July 25 - 28. A Themi Venturas Production. Cast: Hercules Pitsiladis (Father), John Ellman-Brown (Orpheus), Astrid Pieters (Cashier), Peter Sampson (Station Waiter), Ian Liston (Monsieur Henri), Amber Cummins (1st Girl), Jo Feinson (2nd Girl), Anthony Shelley (Molac), Theo Rijs (Manager), Lorraine Young (Eurydice), Michele Cragg (Mother), Gary Carter (Vincent), Themi Venturas (Mathias), Patrick Scott (Hotel Waiter) and Mauro Putigna (Actor).
Teater SA, 1(1) and (2), 1968).
Inskip, 1977. p 118
PACT theatre programme, 1968.
UTS theatre pamphlet
PESF Young 'uns theatre programme, 1978.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays
Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays
Return to PLAYS III: Collections
Return to South African Festivals and Competitions
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page