Ek, Anna van Wyk
The original text
Like many of his plays, this was based on a real event and a real person, and it became a play about the disintegration of a marriage and the existential crisis of woman, in the process providing a haunting exploration of the core features of the broader Afrikaner psyche. Technically the play was a yet another move, even further away from the original social realism that characterizes Fourie's early days and the symbolic adaptations he introduced to his notion of volksteater in the 1970s, to a far more theatrically expressionist mode of writing - yet rooted in the life of the rural Afrikaner throughout. It is the first in what was to become a trilogy of plays about the Afrikaner by Fourie, the others being Die Koggelaar and Donderdag se Mense, which had a significant impact on the playwriting of the next generation of Afrikaans playmakers.
In 1993 Fourie also wrote Post Mortem as a final piece ("sluitstuk") in what would thereafter become known as his quartet of "farm tragedies" ("plaastragedies").
First performed in 1984 and published by HAUM Literêr in 1986, the work became a standard prescribed work and was reprinted a number of times. A second, revised edition was published by Protea Boekhuis in 2002.
Translations and adaptations
Marthinus Basson reworked the text into a singularly successful transgender version in 1999 (see performances below).
Performance history in South Africa
1984: First performed to acclaim at the Kampustoneel Festival by students of the Drama Department of the University of Potchefstroom for CHE, directed by Peet van Rensburg with a cast that included Isabel Mostert as "Anna", A.J. van der Merwe as "Senior" and Hannes Muller as his son.
1984: Presented by CAPAB directed by Pieter Fourie at the H.B. Thom Theatre, Stellenbosch, opening 1 November and at the Nico Malan Theatre, opening 8 November 1984. The cast: Lida Meiring (Anna), Paul Lückhoff, Louw Verwey, André-Jacques van der Merwe, Johan Esterhuizen, Neels Coetzee, Lynita Crofford and Chris Baatjies. Design by Dicky Longhurst, lighting by Pieter de Swardt.
1985: Opening on 28 August at the Momentum Theatre, presented by PACT, directed by Dieter Reible starring Petru Wessels and Louw Verwey. Other members of the cast were Chris van Niekerk, Kim de Beer, Ilse van Hemert, Eghard van der Hoven, Schalk Schoombie, Percy Pretorius, Frans Kalp, Dot Feldman, Arthur Masekwameng, Whinney-Isaiah Setimo. Designs and lighting by James MacNamara and Dieter Reible. The production created a furore, among other things for the prominent female nude scene.
1986: Staged by PACOFS at the André Huguenet Theatre 2-11 October, directed by Pierre van Pletzen assisted by Blaise Koch, with Casper de Vries, André-Jacques van der Merwe, Hannes Muller, Petru Wessels, Gerrit Schoonhoven, Pierre van Pletzen, Michele Burgess, Lulu Strachan, Elzette Maarschalk, Nico Luwes (as Die Stem), Johannes van Wyk, Jakobus Minnie, Blaise Koch, Liz Botes, Gert Campbell, and Michael Davids. Decor design by Johan Badenhorst, lighting design by Laddie Czerepowicz, costume co-ordinator Josey Ferns.
1999: A transgender version of the play was produced collectively by PACOFS, KKNK, PACT, CAPAB and The Playhouse, directed and designed by Marthinus Basson, toured the country. The cast included Antoinette Kellerman, Dawid Minnaar, Ben Kruger, Jean Marais, Nicola Hanekom, Alyzzander Fourie, Gabriël Campher and Brian Webber. Lighting by Bryan Mcneilage. Kellerman won a Fleur du Cap Best Actress Award and Basson a Fleur du Cap Award for Best Contribution to Stage Design for the production. This production It opened at the Momentum Theatre, in the State Theatre Complex, playing 5 to 31 July, then followed runs at the Sanlam Loft in Durban's The Playhouse (3 to 8 August), Bloemfontein's André Huguenet Theatre (12 to 14 and 18 to 21 August) and finally at the Nico Malan Theatre in Cape Town (26 August to 4 September).
CAPAB theatre programme, 1984.
PACT theatre programme, 1985.
PACOFS theatre programme, 1986.
PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988
Nico Malan Theatre Centre pamphlet Aug-Nov 1999
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