1940s ORIGINAL AND FINAL TYPESCRIPT PLAY WRITTEN DURING TIME IN A POW CAMP AND FINISHED AFTER THE WAR BY THE SOLDIER AND PLAYWRIGHT ROBERT SCURFIELD9021
On offer is an exemplary and fascinating original manuscript of a play, entitled “Brandt’s Drift” written by Robert Scurfield while a POW in World War 2. According to the book “The London Stage 1940-1949: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel,” the play would eventually be performed at the Gateway Theatre in London on January 6th, 1948. The title page reads as such, “BRANDT’S DRIFT ¦A Romance of the War in South Africa ¦ by ¦ ROBERT SCURFIELD ¦ Dramatis Personae ” There is then a breakdown of the eight main characters of the play and then the setting which reads, “The action of the play takes place in the Brandt's kitchen at Brandt’s Drift, a farmhouse near the Orange Free State frontier of Cape Colony, in February 1900 - late summer in those latitudes.” It is dated “June - July, 1947.” This seems to be the final version of the manuscript, as there are no edits or writing on the pages as might be usual for a non-final manuscript. The last page of the play includes a glossary of South Africa (in alphabetical order) terms used in the play. These terms include: “Africander - One born in South Africa of Dutch descent; now spelt Afrikaner” ; “Cronje - The Boers’ most eminent general” ; “Ja hucht! - an untranslatable ejaculation”; “Zarps - Z.A.R.P. - Zuid Afrikansche Republike Police: the Johannesburg police-force, a semi-military ‘all-nations’ formation.” There are 38 terms in this glossary. The manuscript is still in very good condition, with only the brown paper cover showing signs of wear and age. It is made up of light green typescript pages and is 73 single-sided pages long. The manuscript seems to be hand stitched together, possibly by Scurfield himself, in a simple 3-hole pamphlet stitch that is easily noticeable on the front and back cover. The title “BRANDT’S DRIFT BY ROBERT SCURFIELD” is handwritten in thick black ink, also possibly by Scurfield himself.
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