The Love of the Nightingale

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The Love of the Nightingale is a play by New York-born British playwright, screenplay writer, and translator Timberlake Wertenbaker, commissioned for the Royal Shakespeare Company and first performed in 1989 at The Other Place, Straford. It is an adaptation of the Ancient Greek legend of the rape of Philomela by her brother-in-law Tereus, and the gruesome revenge undertaken by Philomela and her sister Procne. The play takes a feminist look at the ancient tale.

The original text

Published in Plays one by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Faber and Faber, 1996.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans by Arnold Blumer as Die Nagtegaal se Liefde. Directed by Janice Honeyman in 2002 for the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department featuring students of the Department.

Performance history in South Africa

1993: NAPAC Drama.

1998: Rhodes University Drama Department production directed by Andrew Buckland and Dion van Niekerk in September.

2000: Presented by the University of the Witwatersrand School of Dramatic Art at the Wits Amphitheatre opening 17 May 2000, directed by Barbara Rubin with students of the Department in the cast.


The Love of the Nightingale theatre programme, 2000

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