Clasius, of Het Proces om een Komedie-Lootje
Clasius, of Het Proces om een Komedie-Lootje ("Clasius, or the process around a comic lottery ticket") is a satirical afterpiece in two acts, with music, by Charles Etienne Boniface (1787 – 1853).
The original text
A satire on people in Cape Town, including his arch rival Joseph Suasso de Lima, in which the latter is equated to a learned baboon, it was originally announced (on 24 may 1834) as De Gekwetste Reputatie, of Het Komedielootje ("The wounded reputation, or the comedy lottery ticket").
The full title has also been given as Clasius Stupidibus Bavianus, of Het Proces om een Komedielootje or Clasius, of Het Proces om een Komedielootjie by some authors - though the original play is usually referred to simply as Clasius in much of the literature.
A somewhat illogical English translation (of the title?), The Blamed Reputation has also been found in some sources.
The play was finally performed as Clasius, of Het Proces om een Komedie-Lootje ("Clasius, or the process/events surrounding a comedy lottery ticket") on 19 July 1834.
The text was not formally published till 19**, but was available in a number of manuscripts in Cape Town. The one used by F.C.L. Bosman for his study (owned by a Dr Dreyer) contains a caricature of De Lima on the inside cover, and the title page has: "Clasius, of Het Proces om een Komedie-Lootjie. Kluchtig en Geschiedkundig Treurspel" ("Clasius, or The Process of the Comedy-lottery ticket. [A] farcical and historical tragedy"). The publisher is given as Vlyt en Kunst 1834. F.C.L. Bosman (1928: pp. 323-330) provides quite a comprehensive discussion and description of the work (in Afrikaans).
Translations and adaptations
Revised by Boniface himself and renamed Nog Net Zoo ("still just the same"). (Bosman again has this title in two versions: Nog Net Zoo, Nog net zoo and Nognetzoo), and performed under this title in 1834 and 1836.
The revised version had minor adjustments to the text and an additional scene ("Castor en Pollux", supposedly by an "amateur", but most probably Boniface himself), as an intermezzo.
Performance history in South Africa
1834: The play is first announced on 24 May by Vlyt en Kunst under the original title of De Gekwetste Reputatie, of Het Komedielootje, in the interval between performances of Robert Maxwell, of De Offerdood (Kotzebue) and De Wonderdoctor (Molière).
1834: First performed under the new title of Clasius, of Het Proces om een Komedielootjie by Vlyt en Kunst on 19 July 1834, with De Vaandrig ("The ensign", by Schröder). The actors in the piece were A.J. Lind, J. de Kock, P.A. Ley, H. Ley, J. Tyrholm, E.G. de Roubaix, P. Baard and J.M. Wolhuter.
1834: Performed, now slightly adapted and under another new title as Nog Net Zoo, on 13 September 1834 by Vlyt en Kunst in the African Theatre, with a new scene (an "intermezzo" called "Castor and Pollux") added by the author (cited as "an amateur"). Played as an afterpiece to Valmont de Saint Priest, of De Schipbreukeling (De Witte van Haemstede).
1836: Performed as Nognetzoo in the African Theatre by Vlyt en Kunst on 10 September, as afterpiece to Montoni (Duval/Bruggemans), accompanied by a one-act comic ballet called Het Fancy Bal!!!, and a "zeer prachtig Transparant" ("a very beautiful transparency") by Den Heer Poortemans. Music provided by the musical group De Vriendschap. The evening was as a benefit (and revenge?) for the secretary J.J. de Kock, who had lost a litigation case against Joseph Suasso de Lima, the but of the satire in the play.
F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. : pp. 124, 263-4, 320-337, 364, 367, 373, 495.
Elizabeth Conradie. 1934. Hollandse skrywers uit Suid-Afrika. Deel 1 (1652-1875) 'n Kultuur-historische studie. Pretoria, J.H. de Bussy and Cape Town H.A.U.M.: pp. 252-254.
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