The Vigil

Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Vigil is a play in three acts by Ladislas Fodor (1898-1978)

The original text

A courtroom drama dealing with the events occurring between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The defendant is one Elias Jacobson, the gardener from the Garden of Gethsemane, is charged by the Romans with stealing and hiding the body of Jesus in an attempt to make people believe he has risen. Numerous witnesses involved in the great drama are called to the stand and ultimately the play becomes a dramatic showdown in court between the two opposing factions, with the audience as jury.

The Vigil premiered in 1948 on Broadway at the Royale Theatre in New York City, and, later that year, in the UK at the Embassy Theatre in London, before it was transferred to the West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre. While the play is rarely performed professionally, is regularly performed in church and community theatre productions.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1962: Produced at the Labia Theatre by Noelle Bicket, with John Ramsdale as "Mr Pinchas".


E-mail correspondence from Laurence Jacobs, August, 2020, containing information supplied by John Ramsdale.,a%20small%20town%20American%20courtroom.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

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