Das Heilige Experiment

(Redirected from The Strong Are Lonely)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Das Heilige Experiment ("The holy experiment") is a German play by Austrian playwright Fritz Hochwälder (Fritz Hochwaelder, 1911-1986)[1].

The original text

Hochwälder wrote social and political dramas, using historical themes in his plays and Das Heilige Experiment, written in 1942-3, drew on the violent dismantling of a utopian Jesuit settlement and the expulsion of Jesuits from Paraguay in 1767.

Translations and adaptations

The play has been translated into French as Sur la Terre Comme au Ciel ("On Earth as in Heaven") by J. Mercure and R. Thieberger and was then adapted into English as The Strong Are Lonely by Eva Le Gallienne, apparently based on the French version. The English version of the play was first staged in London in November 1955 and a BBC TV adaptation was first broadcast on Sunday 3 June 1956.

Translated into Afrikaans and adapted for radio as Die Heilige Eksperiment by Johan Olivier, broadcast by the SABC.

An interesting South African note: Should one credit Frederic M. Litto's (surely erroneous) attribution of a play called The Strong Are Lonely to the South African playwright Basil Warner, the German (or French?) play may possibly have been translated under that title by Warner for performance in South Africa. However, it is more likely that Litto is confusing this play with Try for White, Warner's really influential play on race issues, and the only published theatrical work by Warner on record.

Performance history in South Africa

1957: The Strong Are Lonely, credited to , was presented at the Library Theatre, Johannesburg, in June by the Johannesburg Repertory Players . Directed by Cecil Williams, with sets designed by Anthony Farmer and Charles Stodel in the cast.




Frederic M. Litto. 1968. Plays from Black Africa. New York: Hill and Wang.

Theatre programme held by NELM: [Collection: FARMER, Anthony]: 2007. 18. 13. 1167.

Percy Tucker. 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press: p.107.

Oliver Walker. Press clipping of review by held by NELM: [Collection: FARMER, Anthony]: 2007. 18. 20. 1. 17.


Johan Olivier. 19??. Carbon copy of the typed SABC radio text of Die Heilige Eksperiment, held in the Drama Department archive of the University of Stellenbosch.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to South African Radio Plays and Serials

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page