Breathing In is an English play by Reza de Wet (1952-2012).
See also the entry on Nag, Generaal
The original text
A play about relationships and survival during the Anglo-Boer War, it is a variation/adaptation of the theme of Nag, Generaal (1991), an Afrikaans play by the same author. In her English reworking of the Afrikaans text she refocussed the issues of the play on the notion that the "final breath" of a dying person could be life-giving. Using very much the same situation, she retains the General, but combines the Martha character with that of the mysterious healer, to create a kind of "Mother Courage" character, who, while acting as healer, simultaneously scavenges on the battlefield, to the extent of using her beautiful young daughter to seduce young soldiers and robbing them of their "dying breath" to keep her daughter alive.
Breathing In was published in Reza de Wet: Plays Two by Oberon Books, 2005. (African Gothic and Good Heavens are also included in the collection.
Translations and adaptations
It has been translated into Italian and Greek.
Breathing In was in its turn translated back into Afrikaans as Asem ("breath") by Marthinus Basson and had its premiére at the KKNK in 2017.
Performance history in South Africa
2004: First produced as Breathing In by The First Physical Theatre Company and Baxter Theatre at the Baxter Theatre and Grahamstown Festival in 2004, directed by Marthinus Basson with Antoinette Kellermann (as Anna), Jenny Stead, Grethe Fox, Mark Hoeben and Ashley Waterman. It won the Fleur du Cap Award as best production and similar awards for the two actresses.
200*: Breathing In performed as a physical theatre piece, directed by Floyed de Vaal ** in 200*
2010: The play was staged in Rome, Italy, in January and as Τελευταίας Ανάσας ("Last breath") in the Amiral Theater, Athens, Greece, in November.
2016: The Greek version was revived in Athens in January 2016 and also played in Nicosia, Cyprus.
2017: Asem performed at the KKNK festival by the Nasionale Afrikaanse Teater-inisiatief (NATi) and the Feesteforum, directed by Marthinus Basson with Antoinette Kellermann, Tinarie van Wyk-Loots, Stian Bam en Edwin van der Walt.
2018: Asem performed at the Woordfees festival in March by the Nasionale Afrikaanse Teater-inisiatief (NATi) and the Feesteforum, directed by Marthinus Basson with Antoinette Kellermann, Tinarie van Wyk-Loots, Stian Bam en Edwin van der Walt.
NELM (Collection: The First Physical Theatre Company): 2011. 94. 12. 4. 4
Hester Rossly van der Wal. 2005. Vrouefigure in Reza de Wet se Drama-oeuvre. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of South Africa.
Gordon Dickerson. 2018. Personal correspondence with Temple Hauptfleisch.
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