Between text and stage: the theatrical adaptations of J.M. Coetzee's Foe
This thesis will critically analyse two theatrical adaptations of J. M. Coetzee's Foe (1986). Primarily, this thesis will be seeking to understand the complex relationship of the primary text to its adaptations more closely, regarding them not only as second-order versions or interpretations of the novel, but also to consider the way they may retrospectively construct new readings and understandings of the source text. This thesis will not only consider the way in which Foe is used in the adaptations but also how Robinson Crusoe (1719) influenced the adaptors and adaptive process. Theories of adaptation will be discussed, drawing extensively on work by Linda Hutcheon (2006) and Robert Stam (2005). One of the key ideas in adaptation theory is that adaptive fidelity to the source text is neither possible nor desirable, but that adaptation is a more complex, multi-layered intertextual and intermedial interplay of fictional material. One of the aims of this thesis is to ask whether or not Foe can be successfully transposed to the stage. This thesis will serve as a close analysis of the two theatrical adaptations, focusing on the beginning and endings of the respective adaptations. This research will contribute a new approach to Coetzee studies and to Foe in particular by exploring how these texts can lead to a broader understanding of Coetzee's work and the way it crosses into different media.