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Scherenschnitt ("scissor cut" or "silhouette") is a German play by Paul Pörtner (1925–1984)[1].

The original text

Originally performed as Scherenschnitt oder Der Mörder sind Sie in the Ulmer Theatre, Ulm, Germany in 1963, and published as Scherenschnitt and called a "Kriminalstück zum Mitspielen" (i.e. ) in 1964

Translations and adaptations

Adapted into English as Shear Madness by Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan[2], and opened in Boston at the Charles Playhouse Stage II in January 1980, this particular production going on to become one of the longest-running nonmusical plays in the world, celebrating on January 29, 2020.

(The title not to be confused with Sheer Madness, the English version of Heller Wahn, a 1983 German arthouse film directed by Margarethe von Trotta).

Performance history in South Africa

1997: Staged by Pieter Toerien Productions in the Rex Garner Theatre in November 1997, adapted by Malcolm Terrey, directed by Terrey and Rex Garner, with Malcolm Terrey, Annelisa Weiland, Roger Dwyer, Leon van Heerden, Melody O'Brian and Carl Beukes.

1997: The same production was staged in the Theatre on the Bay in Cape Town in December, with Darryl Nel playing Leon van Heerden's role, "Nick".

1998: The same production was staged in the Momentum Theatre in Pretoria in January with Leon van Heerden resuming his role.


Die Burger, 22 December 1997.

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