The original text
A play about Mozart and Salieri, based on Mozart and Salieri, a short verse play by Pushkin, it was first produced in 1979 at the National Theatre in London by Peter Hall, with Paul Scofield as Salieri and Simon Callow as Mozart and in 1980 at the Broadhurst Theatre, New York, with Ian McKellen as Salieri, Tim Curry as Mozart and Jane Seymour as his wife.
Hall, who has reworked the play six times with Shaffer, wrote in his revival of the script in 1998-99: "It is probably the most successful serious play of the last century. It has triumphed everywhere. Peter Shaffer has done more to encourage the love and understanding of Mozart than anyone this century."
Translations and adaptations
The legendary 1984 film adaptation by Milos Forman starring Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham won eight Oscars, including Best Actor, Best Film and Best Director.
Using the Afrikaans text of Amadeus, interpolated with Mozart's Requiem, led to the creation of Amarequiem, a musical piece for actors, solo singers, a choir and an orchestra. Devised by Matthys Maree and Niel van Niekerk.
Performance history in South Africa
1981: The first South African production was in 1981 by Pieter Toerien Productions by arrangement with the National Theatre of Great Britain, directed by Nikolas Simmonds at the Baxter Theatre, with Ralph Lawson as Mozart and Richard Haines as Salieri. The cast included John Rogers, Pierre Knoesen, Albert Raphael, Nigel Kane, George Jackson, Terry Norton, Michael Findlay, Kerry Jordan, Ros Chapman, Michelle Bestbier, Basil Soper, Len Sparrow-Hawk, James Whyle, Gordon Sara, Alberto Pereira. Pieter Toerien staged this production starring Richard Haines and Ralph Lawson and directed by Nikolas Simmonds at the Alhambra Theatre in 1981. Michael Atkinson replaced Haines in a subsequent extended season. The production also formed part of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown 10-17 July 1981. Set and costumes designed by Bruno Santini, lighting designer Stan Knight.
1989: Presented by University Theatre Stellenbosch in the H.B. Thom Theatre in September, directed by Noël Roos, starring, among others, Raél Mercuur, Werner Coetzee, Waldi Schultz, André van der Merwe, Erik de Waal and Kobus Rossouw.
1991: Presented in Afrikaans during October and November as a joint project by Stadsteater Witbank, die Stadskouburg Vereeniging and the Johannes Stegmann-teater in Secunda. Directed by Louw Verwey with David van der Merwe (Salieri), Nico Liebenberg (Mozart), Ronel Kriel (Constanze Mozart), Leon Cloete, Louis Minnaar, Braam Burger, Siegfried Kitching, Johann van Wyk, Jan Stoop en Elise Hibbert, Bonita Schlemmer, Catherine Swanepoel, Etienne de Wet en Wimpie van Vuuren.
2006: Produced by the Baxter Theatre, directed by Lara Foot-Newton, with designs by Peter Cazalet, and starring Brian Murray, Nicholas Pauling, Frances Marek, Abduragmaan Adams, Jeremy Crutchley, Jeroen Kranenburg, Alexander du Plessis and others. Costumes designed by Phyllis Midlane.
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