Die Joiner

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Die Joiner ("The joiner") a play by Pieter Fourie (1940-2021).

The original text

The title of Die Joiner refers to the so called "joiners" among the Boers who sided with the British in the Anglo Boer War in some way or another.

Written in 1976, it is a political play, largely based on real people and events from his youth, and focusses on divisions within the Afrikaner community , represented as an inner struggle within the character Sarel - who not only seemingly "betrayed" his people in the war, but did so again by marrying a black woman in 1910. This theme is still in tune with Fourie's notions of what he calls "volkstoneel", but dramatically it represents a break away from the realism that characterized his earlier work. In this work he undertakes his first experiment with a more symbolic approach, splitting the main character into three versions - in this case Sarel 1, Sarel 2 and Sarel 3 - representing different facets of the Afrikaner.

Though published to critical acclaim by Tafelberg, Cape Town, in 1976, play was not to be performed till much later. According to Fourie (in Luwes, 2012: p.202), then Prime Minister John Vorster himself instructed that the Performing Arts Councils would not be allowed to do it.

It was finally performed in 1982 by CAPAB, with a stellar cast and to critical acclaim once again. However according to Luwes (2012: p. 207) has apparently not been done since, and is often referred to a drama to be read rather than seen in performance.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1982: Directed by Fourie for CAPAB opening 13 November 1982 at the Nico Malan Theatre, with Marius Weyers, Wilna Snyman, Mees Xteen, Lida Meiring, David van der Merwe, Neels Coetzee. Decor and costumes Dicky Longhurst, lighting Malcolm Hurrell. Stage manager Skip Wright.


Die Joiner theatre programme (CAPAB), 1982, donated by Tony Fletcher, held by NELM: [Collection: FLETCHER, Jill]: 2005. 75. 19. 9.

Nico Luwes 2010. Pieter Fourie (1940-) se bydrae as Afrikaanse dramaturg en kunsbestuurder: 1965-2010. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State, pp. 197-207[1]

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