Die Panne

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Die Panne ("The breakdown") is the name given to four related German works by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990)[1].

They are a radio drama, a TV drama, a novel and a stage play

Also found with a subtitle as: Die Panne: eine noch mogliche Geschichte ("The breakdown: another possible story").

The original text

Written as a radio drama the tale tells the story of Alfredo Traps, a traveller who, when his car breaks down, is taken in for the night by a former judge, where he is invited to participate in a nightmarish game with the judge and his three friends — a former prosecutor, defense attorney and public hangman.

The radio play won the 1956 Blind War Veterans’ Prize for best radio play and the literary award of the newspaper Tribune de Lausanne.

Other versions of the play

published by Arche in Zurich, 1966

Dürrenmatt almost immediately adapted the radio drama as a short novel (1956) as well as a TV play (directed by Fritz Umgelter for Bayerischer Rundfunk, 1957) and later also a stage play (1979)

The novel

The novel was translated into English as A Dangerous Game by Richard Winston and Clara Winston (known as Traps in the USA).

The TV film

Die Panne : eine noch mogliche Geschichte published by Arche in Zurich, 1966.

A large number of films based on the story have been made since. (See the Wikipedia entry on A Dangerous Game for a partial listing)[2].

Stage versions

The first stage versions seem to have been translations, e.g. The Deadly Game (1960, American play by James Yaffe) and Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe ("Silence! The Court Is in Session") (1967, Marathi play written by Vijay Tendulkar)

The German version by Dürrenmatt himself was performed and published in 1979.

South African translations and adaptations

Translated from the original German into Afrikaans by Bartho Smit entitled Teenspoed: 'n nog moontlike verhaal. Published by Human & Rousseau, 1961 and in Bartho Smit-vertalings No 2, by HAUM 1985.

Another adaptation of the radio drama as a stage play in Afrikaans was done by Leonora Nel in 1964 and entitled Spel.

Performance history in South Africa

1964: Spel was presented by Pro Arte in Pretoria in 1964 starring, among others, Lourens Odendaal.

1971: Teenspoed was to have been presented in conjunction with Wolf, Wolf hoe laat is dit? (Aucamp) and Karel (Sławomir Mrożek) by Libertas Theatre Club under the direction of Marie van Heerden, opening 29 October 1971. However, in the absence of any theatre programme or newspaper reports (especially in the local Stellenbosch weekly paper Eikestadnuus), it is assumed that the production never materialised.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_D%C3%BCrrenmatt

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050819/

Twaalfde Nag programme notes, PACT 1964.

Announcement of future Libertas Theatre Club productions, Mary, Mary theatre programme, 1971.

Copy of the Afrikaans translation found in the Stellenbosch University drama archives.

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