Siener in die Suburbs

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Siener in die Suburbs ("Clairvoyant in the Suburbs") is a hugely successful stage play by P.G. du Plessis (1934-2017).

Also the title of the filmed version of the play by Quadro Films.

The stage play by P.G. du Plessis(1971)

Original text

An enormously popular, much celebrated and multiple award-winning play depicting the lives of the “poor white” Afrikaans-speaking inhabitants of the working class southern suburbs of Johannesburg in the 1950s. It was first published by Tafelberg, 1971.

Besides numerous acting and directing awards, the text won the Hertzog Prize for Drama (with consideration of Die Nag van Legio), the CNA Prize for Afrikaans Fiction and the Grosskopf Prize for the author.

Translations and adaptations

An English version entitled Seer in the Suburbs (alternatively titled Backyard Dreamer), adapted by Peter Krummeck.


1971: First performed in a record-breaking run by PACT at the Breytenbach Theatre from 12 August 1971, directed by Francois Swart, featuring Marius Weyers (“Jakes”), Sandra Prinsloo (“Tiemie”), Louis van Niekerk ("Giel"), George Ballot ("Albertus"), Don Lamprecht ("Tjokkie"), Annette Engelbrecht ("Fé") and Tine Balder (as "Ma, Wilna Snyman taking over the role later). Repeated again by PACT, with productions at various places in the country over the years. Gerben Kamper took over as Albertus and Karen van Wyk as Fé in later productions. Decor by Richard Cook.

1978: Produced by CAPAB, directed by Schalk Jacobsz with Paul Slabolepszy (Jakes), Johan Botha (Tjokkie), Lida Meiring (Ma), Willem de la Querra (Giel), Johan Esterhuizen (Albertus), Fay Marais (Fé) and Mary Dreyer (Tiemie) in the Nico Malan Theatre (opening 9 September), Opera House, Port Elizabeth from 3 October and the H.B. Thom Theatre in Stellenbosch, opening 10 October. Marko van der Colff played Jakes in Port Elizabeth and Stellenbosch. Designed by Peter Krummeck, lighting by John T. Baker.

1980: Produced by PACOFS , directed by Schalk Jacobsz Decor and costumes by Cyril Londt, lighting by Brian Evans. Stage manager William Czerepowicz.

1981: PACT with Ben Kruger (Jakes) and Amanda Strydom (Tiemie).

1993: Staged by the University of Pretoria Drama Department, directed by Louw Odendaal, with Henning Botha (Giel), Alida Liebenberg (Ma), Peter Taljaard (Jakes), Hanlie Rolfes (Tiemie), John Kennedy (Tjokkie), Stéfan Booyscé-d’Ville (Albertus) and Onida Cowan/Sonja-Marie de la Rey (Fé).

2002: Directed by Chris Vorster at the KKNK, with Gys de Villiers as "Jakes" and Sandra Prinsloo as "Ma", Brian Webber, Anriette van Rooyen, Franci Swanepoel, and Jacobus Venter.

2015: Aardklop starring Crystal-Donna Roberts [1] (Tiemie), Shaleen Surtie-Richards (Ma), Christo Davids (Tjokkie), Brendon Daniels (Jakes), Ivan Abrahams (Oom Giel).

Translations and adaptations

An English version entitled Seer in the Suburbs (alternatively titled Backyard Dreamer), adapted by Peter Krummeck.

1981: Performed in English at the Baxter Theatre , opening 19 August, directed by Charles Comyn. The cast included Trix Pienaar (Ma), Peter Piccolo (Chockie), Peter Krummeck (Sam), Robin Smith (Jakes), Brümilda van Rensburg (Baby), Maria Schoeman (Fay). Lighting by Pip Marshall.

1981: English text was also performed at the the Academy Theatre Johannesburg, starring Dale Cutts, Trudie Taljaard, Bo Petersen and Marcel van Heerden.

The film by Quadro Films(1973)

A script by P.G. du Plessis (based on his play) was filmed by Quadro Films, directed by Francois Swart, with cinematography by Koos Roets and editing by Tokkie Wehmeyer.

The film was basically a filmed version of the original stage production, with the same cast and director. The cast consisted of Marius Weyers, Louis van Niekerk, Sandra Prinsloo, Don Lamprecht, Wilna Snyman, George Ballot, Karen van Wyk and Don Barrigo (uncredited).

Production credits for the film include Colin Ward (production manager), Eric Smith (as Erick Smith - music), , Richard Cook (set design), and Richard Lomba (sound).

Released in 1973.


Barrow and Williams-Short. 1988.

PACT Newsletter, October 1971.

Material (re Krummeck translation) held by NELM: [Collection: Baxter Archives]: 2003. 54. 46.

Siener in die Suburbs theatre programmes PACT 1972, PACOFS 1980.

Die Burger, 3 March 2012) (re PACT 1981 production).

Seer in the Suburbs theatre programme (Baxter), 1981.

University of Pretoria Drama Department theatre programme, 1993.

Beeld, 8 October 2015.

Return to

Return to South African Stage Plays

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page