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Rope by English playwright and novelist Patrick Hamilton (17 March 1904 – 23 September 1962) [1].

The original text

A psychological thriller in three acts about two students influenced by Nietzsche who kill a fellow student then invite a number of friends and the victim's father to a meal which they eat off the casket of the dead student.

Translations and adaptations

The play was translated into Afrikaans as Galgtou ("hangman's noose"). Die Sesde Gebod ("The sixth commandment") appears to have been an alternative title used for the translation. This is possibly part of a strategy by Huguenet when on tour to draw bigger audiences by avoiding the contentious title and perhaps seeking to play on the religious sentiments of his conservative Afrikaans public. This was a practice he would follow throughout his career when playing in small towns. In his autobiography however, Huguenet only refers to the play as Galgtou, as does the historian Ludwig Binge () and a number of the performers in the production (e.g. Ignatius Ferreira in Van Schoor et al, 1962.).

Performance history in South Africa

1946: Presented in the original English by the Cape Reps, produced by Harold J. Laite in the Hofmeyr Hall, in September. With Cynthia Howison, W.S. Lee, E. Sakinofsky, Dan Bosman, Dorothy Olver, Ted Clapham, Arnold Pearce, Ulich Brown.

1945: Performed in Afrikaans as Galgtou in André Huguenet's translation. Produced and directed by Huguenet with Estelle Hugo, Antonius Ferreira, Johann Nell, Annali Smuts, Rudolf Nel, Alvino Willemse and André Huguenet himself. The production was recognized by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns ("South African Academy for Science and the Arts") which bestowed a medal of honour on this production for the high standard it had set.

1945: The same production was apparently performed as Die Sesde Gebod, at the Hofmeyr Hall, Cape Town, opening on 5 March.


South African Opinion, 3(8):24;

Trek, 11(6):18, 1946.

Trek, 9(18) :15, 1945.

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