Sweet Bird of Youth

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Sweet Bird of Youth (1959) is a play by American playright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) [1].

The original text

The pllay tells the story of a gigolo and drifter, Chance Wayne, who returns to his home town as the companion of a faded movie star, Alexandra Del Lago (travelling incognito as Princess Kosmonopolis), whom he hopes to use to help him break into the movies. The main reason for his homecoming is to get back what he had in his youth: primarily, his old girlfriend, whose father had run him out of town years before.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1978: Presented by CAPAB, 25 October 1978. Directed by Henry Goodman starring Vivienne Drummond, Ronald France, Paul Slabolepszy, Mary Dreyer, Chris April, Theophilus Gocini, Louis Gocini, Paul Smith and Chris Baatjies. This was the first time that black and white actors appeared together on the Nico Malan Theatre stage.

1985: A slightly abbreviated version of the play was presented at the Little Theatre in 1985. Directed by Mavis Taylor, designed by John Caviggia, lighting by Pip Marshall, starring Fiona Ramsay and Sean Taylor.




Grütter, Wilhelm, CAPAB 25 Years, 1987. Unpublished research. p 452.

Theatre programme, 1985.

Die Transvaler, 19 October 1978.

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