Transforming Cor, die ander van Gogh from radio play to stage production for multicultural audiences

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Krige, M.
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Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State
When adapting a radio play to be performed on a stage, the limitations and capabilities of both mediums have to be considered and dealt with in the adaptation process. Such an adaptation and transformation was attempted with Cor, die ander van Gogh, initially written by Naomi Morgan for radio broadcast. It relates the life of Cor, youngest brother to Vincent and Theo van Gogh. Cor emigrated to South Africa in the late 1880s and fought on the side of the Boers in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 -1902. The stage performance had to-be accessible also to a non-Afrikaans speaking audience which necessitated careful planning to ensure that the communication is unambiguous and as comprehensible as possible. There are three partners to this process: the text, the actor and the audience themselves. Regarding the text, care should be taken to ensure a tight dramatic structure and the various functions of the dialogue should be identified to ensure a clear message. Contextualisation of the character(s) and events is important to give the necessary details for the audience to understand the dramatic progression. The audience then has to interpret cognitively what has been offered to them on a sensual level and appreciative feedback would indicate the success of the whole process.
Cornelis van Gogh, Radio play, Stage play, Transformation and adaptation, Visual, Auditory, Cor, die ander van Gogh, Stage communication
Krige, M. (2005). Transforming Cor, die ander van Gogh from radio play to stage production for multicultural audiences. Communitas, 10, 127-136.