The Outsider

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The Outsider can refer to three theatrical works, two of which have been produced in South Africa:

The Outsider by Robert Marshall

Listed as one of Marshall's plays and said to have been first performed in London in 1908. No record of a South African performance.

Obituary: "The Late Captain Robert Marshall, Dramatist", in the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle (January 1908)[1]

The Outsider by Dorothy Brandon

A play in three acts by Dorothy Brandon [2].

The original text

A full-length play about the charlatan Anton Ragazoff, who is posing as a doctor and treats Dr. Geerling’s beautiful daughter for a serious bone structure deficiency. First published by Samuel French, 1920, first produced in London in 1923, on Broadway by William H. Harris at the 24th Street Theatre in 1924.

Translations and adaptations

In 1924 a novelized version of the play (written under the pseudonym of "Joan Sutherland") was published by Brentano's, New York.

Filmed 3 times (1926, 1931 and 1939).

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Kwaksalwer ("The Charlatan") by Johann Buhr - much to the chagrin of C. Louis Leipoldt, who had written a play by this name in 1931.

Later translated into Afrikaans as Die Indringer ("The Intruder") by an unknown translator.

Performance history in South Africa

1939: Produced in Afrikaans as Die Kwaksalwer by André Huguenet. He had originally wanted Berdine Grunewald for the lead, but ultimately produced it with himself in the male lead and co-featuring Johan Fourie, Leon Celliers, Eric Olsen, Cor du Toit and Paula Styger. David Sanders designed the set in London while * Janse van Rensburg painted the backdrop.

1949: Produced in Afrikaans by NTO, but under a new title, Die Indringer ("The Outsider"). Produced by Siegfried Mynhardt and featured Enone van den Bergh, Georgie Linder, André Huguenet, Dan Welman. It was staged at the Port Elizabeth City Hall on July 29 & 30. It was also staged, on alternate nights, with Minnaar onder die Wapen in Graaff Reinet on July 22 & 23, in Somerset East on July 25 & 26, and Grahamstown on August 1 & 2.

The Outsider by Albert Camus/Théo Trifard

An adaptation of L'Etranger, the 1942 existentialist novel by Albert Camus (1913-1960) [3],

This was a multi-media stage presentation adapted and performed by Théo Trifard [4]. A collaborative work between French and South African artists, designed to bring a total theatre experience to schools, prisons and any performance space. The thoughts and memories of the imprisoned office worker Meursault is brought to lifethrough videos projected onto the wall, supporting the condemned to prisoner's words: "They can take away your freedom but not your memory."

The video part of the production was filmed in 1997, directed by Léa Jamet[5], with a French and an English soundtrack, and then combined with stage performance, directed by Nicky Rebelo. The English voices were done by South African performers James Borthwick, Frank Opperman (listed as Franck Opperman), Marcel van Heerden, Leon Erasmus and Nicky Rebelo.

First performed by PK 11 Productions in 1997-1998, in both French and English versions, opening in Réunion Island (1997). They then played in Johannesburg and in the Victoria Girls High School Gymnasium, at the National Arts Festival Fringe, 1998, Grahamstown, South Africa. Afterwards performed in French prisons and Le Lucernaire, Centre National d'Art et d'Essai[6], in Paris


The Rand Daily Mail, 7 June 1939 (performance of Die Kwaksalwer)

Programme: Albert Camus: The Outsider, PK 11 Productions, 1998.

Review by Adrienne Sichel, Pretoria News, 15 July 1998.

Review by Laetitia Pople, Beeld, 14 July 1998.

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