A Worm in the Bud

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A Worm in the Bud is a play by Reza de Wet.

1988 It A play about cultural discrimination, it is cast in the form of a public lecture and utilising a correspondence between two sisters to explore an Englishwoman’s emotional experiences as the wife of an Afrikaner man in the late 19th century.

The play revolves around the correspodence between the philanthropic adventurer, Emma, who goes to SA in 1904 to educate Boer children and her sister in England. Emma is unprepared for the untamed environment and the sister, Katy, judges the Boers from the safety of Britannia.

First published in the collection Open Space (Yvette Hutchison and Kole Omotoso), 1995. Kagiso.


The original text

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1990: First performed at the Grahamstown Festival , directed by ** with ** and **.

1990: Staged by PACT in the Windybrow Theatre in Johannesburg, directed by Denys Webb, with Embeth Davidtz (Emma) and Michelle Scott (Katy).

1991: Presented at the National Arts Festival Fringe under the direction of Denys Webb, starring Michelle Constant and Edwina Sherridan-Smith.

1998: Presented by the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department in the Kellerteater, 22-25 April, directed by Molly Mohr, starring Ruth Lavelle and Stephanie Hough.

2011: A Woordfees 2011 production directed by Gaerin Hauptfleisch with Stephanie Hough and Karolien van Zyl.


Pretoria News, 14 March 1990.

PACT theatre programme, 1990.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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