Also known as Rope's End in the USA.
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.
The play opened at
It was first performed as Rope's End in New York at the Theatre Masque on 19 September, 1929.
The text was published as Rope by Samuel French in 1929.
Translations and adaptations
Die Sesde Gebod ("The sixth commandment") appears to have been an alternative title used for the same 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 (1969) and a number of the performers in the production (e.g. Ignatius Ferreira in Van Schoor et al, 1962.).
Performance history in South Africa
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. He claims that with this play he was the first director to introduce the novelty of playing a play straight through without a break, to highten the tension. 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.
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.
South African Opinion, 3(8):24;
Trek, 11(6):18, 1946.
Trek, 9(18) :15, 1945.
Ludwig Wilhelm Berthold Binge. 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950). Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.
P.J. du Toit. 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica
Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg: p.
William Groom. 1899-1900. Drama in Cape Town. Cape Illustrated Magazine, 10(4): 478-481, 517-520, 547-552, 580-584, 640-643, 670-672, 706-708.
Peter Joyce. 1999. A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography. Cape Town: Francolin Publishers.
Loren Kruger 1999. The Drama of South Africa: Plays, Pageants and Publics Since 1910 London: Routledge
P.W. Laidler. 1926. The Annals of the Cape Stage. Edinburgh: William Bryce: p.
Brian Astbury. 1979. The Space/Die Ruimte/Indawo. Cape Town: Moira and Azriel Fine.
Percy Tucker. 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.
Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Late 19th Century Drama 1850-1900 Cambridge University Press
Joris Baers (1888-1975): Algemeene Tooneelbibliotheek Een
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