A Worm in the Bud
Also known as Fever
The original text
Written in 1988, it is 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 correspondence 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.
At a later point in her career, De Wet reworked A Worm in the Bud, calling the new play Fever. In this version Emma Burnett is described more sympathetically by expanding her sister Katy's story to engage with the Victorian attitudes they had grown up with. Fever was subsequently published along with a contrasting play, Concealment, in the collection De Wet: Two Plays by Oberon Books in the series Oberon Modern Playwrights (2007).
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1990: First performed at the Grahamstown Festival , directed by ** with ** and **.
Pretoria News, 14 March 1990.
PACT theatre programme, 1990.
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