Huis Clos

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Huis Clos [1] is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original title Huis Clos is the French equivalent of the legal term in camera, referring to a private discussion behind closed doors; English translations have also been performed under the titles No Exit, In Camera, No Way Out, Vicious Circle, Behind Closed Doors, and Dead End [2]. Published by Gallimard, 1947.

Three dead people are presented as in hell where they suffer torments created by the fact that they are doomed for ever to live in nerve-strung misery.

Performance history in South Africa

1957: The Vicious Circle was presented in a double bill with The Respectable Prostitute by Cecil Williams at The Library Theatre in Johannesburg.

1971: PACOFS, In Kamera (in Afrikaans) directed by Ernst Eloff starring Lerina Erasmus and Jannie Gildenhuys.

1972: An Afrikaans adaptation titled Geen Uitgang presented by the Drama Drie, Johannesburg at the ATKV Nasionale Toneelfees ("ATKV Amateur Play Competion") in the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre, November 1972, directed by David Moolman, featuring Cobus Erasmus, David Moolman, Helena du Toit and Suzette van der Westhuizen.

1976: In Camera Afrikaans translation by Rita Elferink, staged by Eksperimentele Teater Stellenbosch in the Libertasteater in March 1976, directed by Marie van Heerden, with Philip du Plessis (Garcin), Margot Luyt (Inès) , Juanita Swanepoel (Estelle) and Leon van Heerden (Kelner).

1978: Agter Geslote Deure was presented by the University of Pretoria as their entry to the S.A. University Drama Festival at the Sharp Festival of the Arts in Grahamstown. Directed by Hetta le Grange and starring Christo Pienaar (Garsin), Mitzi Booysen (Unez), Amanda Strydom (Estelle) and Hetta le Grange (Bediende).

1983: In Camera Afrikaans translation by Rita Elferink, presented by USAT of the University of Stellenbosch at the National Arts Festival Student Drama in July 1983, directed by Ilzebet Uys, assisted by Anton Oosthuizen and stage manager Jon Phillips. The cast: Johan Laten, Altus Shröder, Amor Engelbrecht, Adriënne Oosthuizen.

1990: In Kamera Afrikaans translation by Francois Swart, staged by PACT, with Sandra Prinsloo (Inès), Gys de Villiers (Garcin), Deirdre Wolhuter (Estelle) and André Stolz (Kelner). Designs by Chris van den Berg.

1998: Agter Geslote Deure Afrikaans translation by Ernst Eloff, staged by the Johannesburgse Afrikaanse Teaterorganisasie (Jato) in the Trap der Jeugd Theatre, Cottesloe, directed by Wim Vorster, with Paul Lückhoff, Antoinette Kellerman, Rina Nienaber and Wim Vorster.

Translations and adaptations

In Camera - Afrikaans translation by Rita Elferink.

Agter Geslote Deure ("Behind Locked Doors") - Afrikaans translation by Ernst Eloff.

In Kamera - Afrikaans translation by Francois Swart.


World Drama by Allardyce Nicoll, 1949.

Tucker, 1997. 111-112.

PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988.

ATKV Nasionale Toneelfees programme, 1972.

National Arts Festival programme, 1983.

PACT theatre programme, 1990.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

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