The Madwoman of Chaillot

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The Madwoman of Chaillot (French title: La Folle de Chaillot) by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux. Written during the German Occupation of Paris in 1943, it was not performed until after his death in 1944. The premiere was in Paris in December 1945 in a production by Giraudoux's frequent collaborator, actor and theatre director Louis Jouvet with Marguerite Moreno in the lead. It was she who had been the inspiration for the piece.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English by Maurice Valency.

Translated from the French into Afrikaans, entitled Die Mal Vrou van Chaillot, by Rita Elferink.

Performance history in South Africa

1951: The first South African production in English was by the Little Theatre Players at the Little Theatre in Cape Town in October 1951, followed by the Johannesburg Reps, directed by Leonard Schach in 1952, starring Haidee Cassell as "Countess Aurelia", Ivy Collins, Johann Nell, Valerie Philip, Shirley Wakefield, Ronald Wallace, Basil Warner. Decor was by Len Grossett and costumes by Louis Jacobson.

The Cape Town cast were Haidee Cassell, Dorothy Nettlefold, Zandberg Jansen, Geoffrey Barry, Connie Dix-Hart, Donald Inskip, Diana Lazar, Audrey Pearce, Percy Sieff. Decor by Cecil Pym.

1977: Die Mal Vrou van Chaillot performed by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in May 1977 in the H.B. Thom Theatre, directed by Ria Olivier, starring Herman Pretorius, Jannie Hofmeyr, Niel le Roux, Fred le Roux, Dawid Minnaar and others.

1985: The Madwoman of Chaillot presented by students of the University of Cape Town Drama Department at the Little Theatre, directed by Mavis Taylor in September 1985


Wikipedia [1].

Undated clipping from Die Burger found in a scrapbook dated 1951, prepared by Sophie Snyman, student in Speech and Drama at the University of Stellenbosch.

Photographs of Percy Sieff and the cast of the production of The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giradeaux, produced by Leonard Schach at the Little Theatre, Cape Town, on 20 October 1951, including Helen Houghton, Dudley Davies, Haidee Cassel, Paul Vierya, Brian Proudfoot, Donald Inskip, Hudson Clausen, Diana Lazar, John Kerr, Petal du Toit, Frances Barry, Beronese Mann, Zandberg Jansen and Melvin Simmers. NELM: Photograph collection [Collection: SIEFF, Percy]: 2013. 25. 2. 38.

Inskip, 1977. p 118, 120.

UTS theatre pamphlet, 1977.

Little Theatre programme, 1985.

Go to ESAT Bibliography.

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