The Idiot

Jump to navigation Jump to search

L'Idiot is a play by André Barsacq (1909-1973)[1].

The original text

A French adaptation for the stage of the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881), it was first performed in 1966 at the Théâtre de l'Atelier. Published on L'Avant-Scène Théâtre (n° 367, 1966) and was filmed and broadcast in 1968.

Translations and adaptations

Barsacq's French adaptation was translated into English as The Idiot.

Barsacq's adaptation was translated into Afrikaans as Die Idioot by A.E. Gevers-Vorster in 1969.

Another adaptation of the Doestoevsky novel is the English play Subject to Fits by Robert Montgomery, which the author insists is not as an adaptation, but in fact a new work written as "a response" to Dostoyevsky's novel. (For more on this adaptation, see the entry on Subject to Fits.)

A play sometimes referred to as The Idiot by some translators/directors is L'Imbecille ("The imbecile") by Luigi Pirandello ()[], which is in fact an original work and not related to the Russian novel. A South African translation by Con de Villiers of the Prindello play is entitled Die Idioot. (For more on Pirandello's play and versions of it, see the entry on L'Imbecile).

Performance history in South Africa

1969: Die Idioot, the Afrikaans version of the Barsacq text, was directed for CAPAB by Jo Gevers, opening at the Port Elizabeth Opera House on 2 January 1969 and on 20 January 1969 in the Hofmeyr Theatre, Cape Town. Jannie Gildenhuys, Cobus Rossouw, Ernst Eloff and Tine Balder in the lead roles, with Wena Naudé, Pietro Nolte, Fitz Morley, Johan Malherbe, Cheryl Heath, Heléne Carstens, Lianda Martin, Val Donald, Dawid van der Walt, Leonora Nel, Willem de la Querra, Roelf Laubscher, Martin Crous, Will Bernard and Sandra Kotzé. Costumes designed by Jennifer Craig.


B. Poirot-Delpech. 1966. "L'Idiot, adapté de Dostoïevsky par André Barsacq", Le Monde 21 January, 1966[

Teater SA, 1(3), 1969.

Die Idioot theatre programme, 1969.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

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