The Playboy of the Western World

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The Playboy of the Western World (1907) [1], is a three-act play written by Irish playwright J.M. Synge. First performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on 26 January 1907.

Translations and adaptations

Freely adapted into Afrikaans by André P. Brink as Bobaas van die Boendoe ("Top-Dog of the Bundu"). Brink relocates the Irish play to a "coloured" fishing community on the Western Cape coast, and uses the local Afrikaans dialect nowadays referred to as "Kaaps". The text was first performed by PACOFS in 1972 and published by Human & Rousseau in 1973. (For performances of the Afrikaans version by Brink, see Bobaas van die Boendoe)

Performance history in South Africa

1963: Presented by PACT in the Civic Theatre, Johannesburg and the National Theatre, Pretoria and taken on tour, September -November. Directed by Victor Melleney, settings by Cazik Dubinski, costumes by Gladys Haupt. The cast included James White, Arthur Hall, Siegfried Mynhardt, Fiona Fraser, Patricia Sanders, Patrick Mynhardt, Ronald Wallace, Taffy Griffiths, Ziona Garfield, Reinet Maasdorp, Paddy Canavan, Richard Daneel and others. Settings by Cazik Dubinski, costumes by Gladys Haupt.

1971: Directed by Beth Dickerson for the Rhodes University Drama Department starring Chris Weare, Janet du Plessis, Anthony Akerman, Heather Murie and Lois Butlin.

1976: Staged by CAPAB, directed by David Crichton, with Lois Butlin, Nicholas Ellenbogen, Philip Godawa and Peter Krummeck in the cast.


PACT report 1963/64.

The Argus 12 April 1976.

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