The character "Till Eulenspiegel" is a trickster figure originating in Middle Low German folklore - appears in many cultures under a variety of names, in picaresque stories about his adventures in various regions. Known as "Owlglass" in English, "Till l'Espiègle" in French, "Uilenspiegel" in Dutch and "Uilspieël" in Afrikaans for example, and is often used to refer to a jester or buffoon.
The original playtext
A play based on the German folkloric character "Till Eulenspiegel", it was apparently originally written by Von Kotzebue as a libretto for an opera by this name, with music by Ludwig Wilhelm Tepper von Ferguson, and produced by Von Kotzebue in the German Theatre in St Petersburg in 1801 (to no great success).
Possibly reworked as a one-act farce, published in German in Berlin 1807, first performed in this form in the Königliches Schauspielhaus, Berlin in 1806.
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1819: Announced for performance by Tot Nut en Vermaak in Dutch as Uilenspiegel in the African Theatre, Cape Town on 5 June. However it was postponed, taking place 12 June 1819, as afterpiece to Menschenhaat en Berouw (Von Kotzebue).
1845: Performed in Dutch as Uilenspiegel by the combined company, Het Privaat Hollandsch Tooneellievend Gezelschap playing under the combined motto Tot Nut en Vermaak en Door Yver Vruchtbaar, in the Hope Street Theatre, Cape Town on 3 December, as afterpiece to Loon der Waarheid (Von Kotzebue).
1847: Performed in Dutch as Uilenspiegel by the combined company, Het Privaat Hollandsch Tooneellievend Gezelschap playing under the combined motto Tot Nut en Vermaak en Door Yver Vruchtbaar, in the Hope Street Theatre, Cape Town on 2 November, as afterpiece to De Baron van Felsheim, of De Slag by Friedberg (Bernos).
1869: The programme of 3 February by Door Yver Bloeit de Kunst is repeated on 11 February.
Opening Night! Opera & Oratorio Premieres, Stanford University Libraries
Stanley Hochman 1984 McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama, McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama: An International Reference Work in 5 Volumes, Stanley Hochman, Volume 1: p. 182 
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