The Play's the Thing

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There are two plays by called The Play's the Thing that have been written or performed in South Africa.

The Play's the Thing by Ferenc Molnár

An English translation of the three act play Játék a kastélyban ("The play at the castle", 1924) by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár (1878-1952)[1].

The original text

The original play was first produced in Budapest in 1925.

Translations and adaptations

Literally translated into English as The Play in the Castle, the play has really become popular in English through two adaptations, the first one by P.G. Wodehouse under the title The Play's the Thing in 1926, and the second one Tom Stoppard's Rough Crossing in 1984.

Translated into Afrikaans (probably from the Wodehouse version) as Gekonkel in die Nag ("Schemes in the night") by M.P.O. Burgers

Performance history in South Africa

1943: Produced in English as The Play's the Thing by the Johannesburg Repertory Society, with Frank Douglass.

1956: Produced in Afrikaans as Gekonkel in die Nag by National Theatre Organisation, directed by Anna Neethling-Pohl, starring Siegfried Mynhardt in the lead as Sandor Turai, Eghard van der Hoven (Mansky), Jannie Gildenhuys (Albert Adam), Berdine Grünewald (Ilona Szabo), Pieter Geldenhuys (Almady), Cobus Rossouw and Piet Bezuidenhout.

1987: Produced in English as Rough Crossing by Pieter Toerien, directed by Robert Whitehead, first performance 8 November. Design by Johan Engels, lighting by Jannie Swanepoel, André Previn's music directed by Peter McLea. The cast: John Whiteley, Tobie Cronjé, Mark Richardson, Neville Thomas, Fiona Ramsay, Robert Haber. Performed at the Alhambra Theatre and the Baxter Theatre.


World Drama by Allardyce Nicoll. Harrap, 1949.

"Rough Crossing" in F.H. Londré Words at Play (SIU Press, 2005)[2]

Trek , 8(2):16, 1943.

Lantern, 6(2):160-164. November 1956 (NTO production).

Theatre programme (NTO) held by NELM: [Collection: BROOKE, Brian]: 2005. 57. 1. 2.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

The Play's the Thing by Jill Fletcher

The original text

An unpublished, undated typescript of a one-act play written by Jill Fletcher, and held by the author.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa


Gosher, 1988

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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