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Vatmaar is a 2002 Afrikaans play by Janice Honeyman based on the book of the same name by A.H.M. Scholtz. ("Vatmaar" is Afrikaans for "just take it..." or "just help yourself...").

The original text

"Vatmaar" was the debut novel of A.H.M. Scholtz [1] , published by Kwela Books in 1995 when the author was 72 years old. It was originally written in English, but it was first published in the Afrikaans translation by the author's daughter Elizabeth. The novel is a collage of simple stories told by simple folk, the inhabitants of the "Coloured" Northern Cape village Vatmaar. On another level these are the stories of a remarkable place told by remarkable people. The central character Ta Vuurmaak comments on the ironic name of the village, "When the whites take everything from us, they call it vatmaar, but when we do the same, it's called stealing."

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

Premièred in the Oude Libertas Theatre in Stellenbosch in March 2002, directed by Janice Honeyman, with Ivan Abrahams, Royston Stoffels, Mary Daniels, Euodia Samson, Jody Abrahams, André Samuels, Mary Dreyer, Neels Coetzee, Glenn Swart, Nazli George, Sizwe Msutu, Michelle Scott, Liande Snell, Chad Abrahams and Caroline Jacobs. Stage design by Brian Collins. The same production later went to the KKNK 2002 and was staged in the Baxter Theatre in April. Staged in the State Theatre in August 2002, directed by Janice Honeyman with the same cast, except with David Clatworthy and Elton Landrew replacing Jody Abrahams and Glenn Swart.

The production returned to the Baxter Theatre in June 2003, directed by Janice Honeyman, with Ivan Abrahams, Merlin Bailie, Elton Landrew, Sizwe Msutu, Nazli George, Neels Coetzee, Glenn Swart, Liande Snell, Mary Daniels, Caroline Jacobs, Michelle Scott, Mary Dreyer, Royston Stoffels, Euodia Samson and André Samuels.

Honeyman's production won a number of awards including Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards for Best Direction and Best Contribution to Stage Design.


Die Burger, 7 & 16 March 2002.

Sunday Independent, 7 April 2002.

Weekly Mail & Guardian, 25 April 2002.

The Star, 20 August 2002.

Cape Times, 11 June 2003.

See: [Van Heerden (2008)][2]. p. 139.

Vatmaar theatre programme, 2002.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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