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Rashomon [1] is the name of several different stage productions, all ultimately derived from works by Japanese author Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892-1972) [2].

The original text

Akutagawa's two short stories "Rashomon" (1915), also known as "The Rashomon Gate", and "In a Grove" (1921), also known as "The Cedar Grove", were famously fused and adapted as the basis for Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's [3] award-winning film Rashomon (1950) from a screenplay by Kurosawa and frequent collaborator Shinobu Hashimoto. (Wikipedia)

Translations and adaptations

In 1959 Rashomon an English stage adaptation by Fay [4] and Michael Kanin [5] of the two short stories and the Kurosawa film was staged on Broadway with Claire Bloom and Rod Steiger in the lead roles. The Kanin adaptation is sometimes staged as The Rashomon Gate.

In the early 1960's Robert Mohr translated the Kanin English adaptation into Afrikaans under the same title of Rashomon.

Performance history in South Africa

1965: The Kanin adaptation The Rashomon Gate was staged by PACOFS, directed by Jo Gevers, with George Barnes (Priest), Herbert Bishko (Woodcutter), Johan Bernard (Wigmaker), Crawford Vernon (Deputy), Louw Verwey (Bandit), Christopher Hale (Husband), Maryann Johnston (Wife), Heléne Carstens (Mother) and Annatjie Vorster (Medium). Decor and lighting by Manfred Enickl and costumes by Gudrun Enickl.

1964/5: The Afrikaans translation by Robert Mohr opened in the Hofmeyr Theatre on 14 October 1964, directed by Mohr. Revived there on 10 March 1965. The cast included Limpie Basson, Tine Balder, Ernst Eloff, Chris Fourie, Pieter Bredenkamp and Jannie Gildenhuys. This was also the debut with CAPAB of the redoubtable actress and translator Nerina Ferreira. Set designed by Pamela Lewis. The play was taken on an extensive tour of the Cape Province in 1965.

1965: First produced in English in South Africa by PACT, directed by Joan Brickhill, with Ronald Wallace (Priest), Arthur Hall (Woodcutter), Siegfried Mynhardt (Wigmaker), Aubrey Ellis (Deputy), Patrick Mynhardt (Bandit), Louis Burke (Husband), Denise van Gelder (Wife), Sheelagh Ross (Mother) and Fiona Fraser (Medium). Decor and costumes designed by Graham Brown and lighting designed by Louis Burke.

1980: The Mohr Afrikaans translation was staged by PACT, directed by Robert Mohr, with Gerben Kamper (Priester), Eric Nobbs (Houtkapper), Don Lamprecht (Pruikemaker), Ronny Belcher (Aanklaer), Louis van Niekerk (Rower), Etienne Puren (Man), Rika Sennett (Vrou), Petro van der Walt (Moeder) and Amor Tredoux (Medium). Decor and costumes by Chris van den Berg and lighting by Jannie Swanepoel.


Wikipedia [6]

CAPAB theatre programme, 1964.

PACT theatre programme, 1965.

PACT theatre programme, 1980.

Review by John Michell, The Rand Daily Mail, 26 November 1980.

PACOFS theatre programme (undated).

Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research. p 36-37.

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