The School for Wives

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The School for Wives is the English translation of L'École des Femmes, a comedy by French playwright Molière.

The original text

First production of L'École des Femmes at the Palais Royale, Paris, 1662.

Translations and adaptations

A translation into Afrikaans by Dr Meyer de Villiers is entitled Vroueskool. The typewritten translation is available at the Stellenbosch University Library, Manuscripts Section. Reference 31/23/2/1-5.

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Bruidskool from the original French by Laurie van der Merwe. Published by DALRO in 1969.

English verse translation by Richard Wilbur.

Performance history in South Africa

189*: The School for Wives was produced in South Africa by ** in 189*.

1949: Vroueskool directed by Marguerite I. Murray for K.A.T. in June 1949.

1957: Produced as Die Bruidskool at the Little Theatre, Cape Town, from 23 to 26 October. Directed by Paul Malherbe, with Percy Sieff in his first Afrikaans role, Billy Trengove, Peet Neethling, Nerina Ferreira, Estelle Ahlers, Chris van den Berg, Kobus van der Colff and Lionel Spiess. Lighting by E.G. Marshall.

1959: The School for Wives was produced by Victor Melleney for the National Theatre Organisation in 1959 at the opening of the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre.

1961: Die Bruidskool ("The school for brides") produced by National Theatre Organisation.

1970: Staged by the Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in the H.B. Thom Theatre and in the Paarl Town Hall in September 1970, directed by Paul Malherbe, with Gerhard Nieuwenhuizen (Chrysaldus), Theuns Meyer (Arnolphe), Hettie Theron/Marietha Snyman (Georgetta), Rhodé Rossouw/Melanie Baumann (Agnes), Phil du Plessis (Horace), Jan Engelen (Oronte) and Johann van Heerden (Enriques). Décor by Cecilia Martens, costumes by Elaine Aucamp and lighting by Jan Engelen.

1973: The translation into English by Richard Wilbur was presented by CAPAB English Drama in the Nico Malan Theatre opening 4 August 1973, directed by leading French theatre director Edmond Tamiz and designed by Danièle Rozier starring Keith Grenville, Kerry Jordan, Roger Dwyer, Lois Butlin, Marion Achber (or Valerie Fletcher as Agnes), John Whiteley, David Crichton, Simon Swindell, Michael Drin. After the season ended on 25 August, the production was presented in Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Welkom, Port Elizabeth and Stellenbosch.


Photographs of the Little Theatre production, 1957 held by NELM [Collection: SIEFF, Percy]: 2013. 25. 2. 49.

Bruidskool theatre programme, 1957.

UTS theatre programme, September 1970.

The School for Wives theatre programme, 1973.

Nel, 1972.

Wikipedia [1].

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