The Orange Earth

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The Orange Earth is a play in English by Adam Small. In the play the main character's bitterness can be traced to the fact that, because of her colour, his mother had always to go to the backdoor of farms in the vicinity of his childhood home. The title refers to the colour of the soil at Goree where the playwright spent the first nine years of his life. Full-length. Cast: mixed.

The original text

The Orange Earth was originally written as a stage play and was first performed in 1978.

Besides various South African productions (see below) the play has subsequently also been presented abroad, e.g. in Atlanta (Georgia) and Knoxville (Tennessee) in the USA.

Translations and adaptations

In 1984 the play adapted for radio and broadcast as a full length radio play by the BBC. The radio text was published by Tafelberg in 2013.

A shortened Afrikaans version of the radio text, now with the title Goree, was done by Daniel Hugo, and was broadcast on Radio Sonder Grense in December 1996. This text was also published by Tafelberg in 2013.

Performance history in South Africa

1978: First performed by the Cape Flats Players in 1978*?.

1978: A Baxter Theatre Production in 1978 was directed by Jo Dunstan, starring Bill Curry (Johnny Adams), Marco van der Colff (The Warder), John Ramsbottom (Pappa), Ethwyn Grant (Babie). Designed by Peter Krummeck. The first performance in the Baxter Studio Theatre was on 1 August. This production was presented at Upstairs at the Market late that year.

1985: A revival of the play was directed and designed by Mavis Taylor, performed in the Baxter Studio 5 December 1985. Johny Adams was played by Paul Cookson, Babie by Vanessa Reynolds, Pappa by Wayne Bowman and Robin Smith was Bokkie Visagie.

2006: Goree, the Afrikaans translation of the play, was presented at the KKNK directed by Willem Fransman jr. and Joey Erasmus. They were also in the cast with other actors.

2013: Presented during the Suidoosterfees January 2013, directed by Matthew Wild.


The Orange Earth theatre programmes, 1978, 1985.

KKNK programme, 2006. 14.

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