The Death of Bessie Smith

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The Death of Bessie Smith is a one-act play by Edward Albee (born 1928) [1]. Written in 1959 and premiered in West Berlin the following year. Set in a 'Whites-only' hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, on the day the famous blues singer, Bessie Smith is brought in (and denied admittance) following a car crash.

Performance history in South Africa

Barney Simon’s production directed by him, was presented by The Company starring Janet Suzman, John Kani and Winston Ntshona with Michael Howard (The father), Danny Keogh (The intern), Vanessa Cooke (2nd nurse) in 1979. Stage design by Johan Engels, lighting design by Martin Pelser, costumes by Debbie Cornell.

Translations and adaptations


Wikipedia [2].

Theatre programme, 1979.

Tucker, 1997. p.362.

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