The Rise and Fall of the First Empress Bonaparte

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The Rise and Fall of the First Empress Bonaparte is a 1977 play by Pieter-Dirk Uys. The central character is the Creole beauty Joséphine de Beauharnais (née Tascher de la Pagerie) (1763–1814) [1] who, as the first wife of Napoleon I, was the first Empress of the French.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1977: First staged with UCT students in Cape Town, directed by the playwright, with Margot de Villiers, Robin Lake, John Caviggia and others.

1983: Staged by PACT in the State Theatre in Pretoria and the Alexander Theatre in Johannesburg, directed by William Egan, with Jacqui Singer (Josephine), Ron Smerczak (Napoleon), Michael McCabe (Tallyrand), Christine le Brocq (Theresia de Tallien), Diane Britz (Carline), Adrienne Pearce (Paulina), Clare Stopford (Eliza), Jocelyn Broderick (Hortense), James Borthwick (Joachin Murat), Jenny Sharp (Claire de Remusat), Carol-Ann Kelleher (Amalie/Mme Georges), Andrew Buckland (Louis), Frantz Dobrowsky (Footman), Martin le Maitre (Eugene), Sheila Ferguson (Mme. Mere) and Graham Hopkins (Constant). Production design by Chris van den Berg and lighting by Tim Heale.


PDU website [2].

PACT theatre programme (undated).

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