Sunday 23 February 2020

Shakespeare in Afrikaans

THE STAR Johannesburg - 1935, July 27
The first Afrikaans version of Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” was produced last night at the Turffontein Dutch Reformed Church Hall by students of The Potchefstroom University College.
Mesdames Wood and Nel, who were responsible for the translation deserve credit for the high standard of their work, which abounds in appropriate and vigorous idiomatic renderings.
The acting on the whole was very good, though the enunciation was in some cases poor, due, perhaps, mainly to the speed with which many of the lines were taken. The length of the play necessitated this.
The production was significant in its reflection of the spirit of the great original not only in costume, acting and lines, but also in setting the stage having been arranged on much the same line as the open one of Shakespeare’s day.
Mr. JC Coetzee, if somewhat extravagant at times, filled the part of Shylock well, and Miss L le Ches, as Portia, was the outstanding player of the evening. 
Others who deserved special mention were Mr JP du Toit, as Gratiano, and Mr AW Muller, as Bassanio.
Good though they were, some players would add to the quality of the production if their bearing and general deportment reflected more of the quiet, genteel dignity of the Venetian noble of the period.
Last night’s performance was the first of a series that will entertain audiences throughout the Northern Transvaal.

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