The original text
The plot deals with a love triangle between the daughter of a landed proprietor, her cousin who she is engaged to, and her Gypsy adoptive sister who also is in love with the cousin. The drama culminates on a Saint John's Eve which is loaded with both Christian and pre-Christian symbols. The theme of the play is gratitude and dependence, and the bounds it can create.
Published as Johannisfeuer and described as a "Schauspiel in vier Akten" by Cotta in 1900.
Translations and adaptations
The stage text has been translated into English as The Fires of St John[] and was presented for the first time on the American stage in Boston on 21 January, 1904 and published by J. W. Luce in the same year. Also referred to as Saint John's Fire.
The play was adapted for film on three occasions: in 1916 under the title The Flames of Johannis, directed by Edgar Lewis, in 1939 as Midsummer Night's Fire, directed by Arthur Maria Rabenalt, and in 1954 as Love is Forever, directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner
Performance history in South Africa
1945: Performed in Afrikaans K.A.T., directed by Hélène Pienaar-De Klerk and Mavis de Villiers in March with Jan Bruyns as "Vogelreuter", Hélène Pienaar-De Klerk, Sappie Botha, Gilles du Plessis, Arin Carstens, Gert Pretorius, Catherina Meiring, Gideon Horn.
Huisgenoot. 30(1224):3, 1945.
Helikon, 1(5), 1952.
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