Saintly Simplicity

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Saintly Simplicity is a stage play by Grethe Fox, based on the short story by Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)[1].

The original text

Chekhov's story Святая простота (Sviataia prostota, variously translated as "Sacred simplicity", "Holy simplicity" or "Saintly simplicity") tells of a son who returns home to visit his father after many years absence. The father, a priest, cannot believe his son, now a very successful lawyer, has become so wealthy and distant.

First published in Russian as Святая простота in The Petersburg Newspaper in December 1885.

Translated and published in English as Saintly Simplicity in Avrahm Yarmolinsky's collection Unknown Chekhov: stories and other writings hitherto untranslated by Noonday Press, New York, in 1954.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted for the stage by Grethe Fox as Saintly Simplicity in 2004.

Performance history in South Africa

2004: Performed at the first Chekhov Festival, directed by Grethe Fox, starring Dale Cutts, Tom Fairfoot and Milan Murray.

2014: Performed at the second Chekhov Festival at the The Fringe at Joburg Theatre in June 2014. Adapted and directed by Grethe Fox, with Kevin Smith, Maurice Paige, Linda Sokhulu and Bradley Olivier.


Donald Rayfield. 1999. Understanding Chekhov: A Critical Study of Chekhov's Prose and Drama. University of Wisconsin Press: pp. 28-29.[2]

The Star, 27 July 2004.

Sue Segar. 2014. "Grethe Fox’s super-charged career", in Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition), 12 October.

Final week of Chekhov Festival at The Fringe, Headlines 11/06/2014[3]

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