The Return of Elvis du Pisanie

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The Return of Elvis du Pisanie[1] (1992) is a one-man play by Paul Slabolepszy.

The original text

A play about a retrenched salesman at the end of his tether and ready to commit suicide, who is saved by the appearance of Elvis Presley, under a lamppost in Witbank

First published in the collection Mooi Street and Other Moves by Witwatersrand University Press in 1994.

Translations and adaptations


The play has been revived numerous times over the years.

1992: First produced at the National Arts Festival and performed by Paul Slabolepszy, directed by Lara Foot. The play then toured the country playing inter alia at the Theatre on the Square, Johannesburg; the Loft Theatre , Durban; the Opera House, Port Elizabeth; The Alexander Playhouse, East London; the Hexagon Theatre, Pietermaritzburg; the Market Theatre, Johannesburg and the Dock Road Theatre, Cape Town. Won a number of Vita Awards, Dalro Awards and Fleur du Cap awards, including Best Actor in all cases, and Best New Play.

1993: Presented by invitation in Washington DC and Chicago by Paul Slabolepszy.

2004: Performed by Slabolepszy, directed by Lara Foot Newton, in the Alexander Theatre in March and in the Studio at the Montecasino Theatre in June.

2005: Performed at the Theatre on the Bay from 18 to 22 January, directed by Lara Foot Newton, with Paul Slabolepszy.

2011: Performed at the Arts Theatre in East London by Pieter-Schalk Bothma.

2013: Performed at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg in January and the National Arts Festival in July, by Pieter-Schalk Bothma, directed by Amanda Bothma, A new production directed by Juanita Swanepoel with Pierre-Arnold Theron, was produced at the KKNK, Outshoorn in April.

2014: Performed by Lionel Newton at the Uplands Festival, Uplands College hall, White River, Mpumalanga, on 30 May. (Was also to have played at the KKNK festival in April, but cancelled.)

2015: Performed by Lionel Newton at the Grahamstown Festival, The Laager and elsewhere.


KKNK programme, 29 March-6 April 2013

Malan, Wilson and Fick. 2013. Now I Am Alone 2: pp.118-121.

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