Die Verminktes

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Die Verminktes ("The Maimed") is an Afrikaans play by Bartho Smit (1924–1986).

The original text

A controversial Afrikaans play on miscegenation and Calvinist angst. Written in the 1950s.

Submitted to both National Theatre Organisation (in Afrikaans) and London's Royal Court Theatre (in English) in 1959, it was rejected for production by the state funded NTO, though the English version was performed in Britain in 1960 where it won the Encyclopaedia Britannica Award. It was for many years denied performance in Afrikaans.

The original Afrikaans text was published in 1960 by Afrikaanse Pers Boekhandel and dedicated to "Hermien" (actress, director and theatre historian Hermien Dommisse). A second, revised, version was published by Perskor in 1976. The latter text was finally staged in Afrikaans by PACT in 1977.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English as The Maimed by the author himself in 1959. The English version remains unpublished. However, a bound copy of the typed text, entitled The Maimed or Abelard & Heloise was recently discovered in the (now defunct) PACT archives by Bronwyn Lovegrove and Marisa Keuris. Bartho Smit is given as sole author. However, Erika Terblanche lists a Pieter Venter as the translator of Die Verminktes as well as of Christine .

Performance history in South Africa

1959: Submitted to both National Theatre Organisation (in Afrikaans) and London's Royal Court Theatre (in English). Rejected for production by the state funded NTO, it was for many years denied performance in Afrikaans.

1960: Accepted and performed to great acclaim in English as The Maimed at the Royal Court Theatre, London, directed by Keith Johnstone as part of "The Sunday night productions without decor" series of ninety-nine fully rehearsed plays, each presented with minimal scenery or costumes for one or two nights from 1957-1975, starring Wesley Pithey as "Bart Harmse", opening on 27 November. The play won an Encyclopaedia Britannica Award.

1977: Staged in Afrikaans by PACT, directed by Louis van Niekerk, with Patrick Mynhardt (Senator Bart Harmse), Elise Hibbert (Elize), Johan Malherbe (Prof. Jones), Don Lamprecht (Frans Harmse), Nigel Vermaas (Jan Barnard), Louise Mollett-Prinsloo (Martha), John Harley (Zoeloe) and Gerben Kamper (Skollie). Decor by Martin Pelser and costumes by Frances Michaletos.

198*?: Presented in Afrikaans by Theatre Workshop, directed by Farouk Valley-Omar, starring Sauli Esau, Suzie Jenneker, David Mettler, Addey Moolman, Richard Appies, Marillize Brink, Farouk Valley-Omar.


Undated Theatre Workshop theatre programme.

PACT theatre programme, 1977.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

E-mail correspondence between Temple Hauptfleisch and Marisa Keuris, 5 and 6 April, 2020.

Bolar, Gordon Maxwell, "The Sunday Night Productions Without Decor at the Royal Court Theatre, 1957-1975 (England, Playwriting, Drama)." (1984). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 4006. [1].

Erika Terblanche. 2018. "Bartho Smit (1924–1987)" LitNet-Skrywersalbum[2]

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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