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Vanessa And The Vanguard

    by Anton Krueger

Nominated - AMFEST Festival
Wits Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2000


One Act Comedy Play Script: 'Vanessa And The Vanguard' by Anton Krueger

The action for this unlikely comedy occurs in the sultry, smoky setting of a private and intensely personal investigation into the whereabouts of a missing person. The client is a remarkably beautiful woman, however, instead of the suave, gravel-voiced detective we may have come to expect, we encounter Orton T. Norton - a frenetic, obsessive, and somewhat eccentric private eye.

Our private detective's services are required by the quintessentially lovely Vanessa in order to track down her missing boyfriend, one Griffen Krell. The somewhat adolescent Orton T. Norton, however, is rather more intent on persuading Vanessa to sleep with him, than in actually performing any of his duties. He appears as a despairingly high-pitched Kafka in a Pythonesque scenario, and his bold entreaties are ultimately met with varying degrees of annoyance by the alluring damsel in distress.

As the investigations proceed, and in between hysterical telephone conversations with his mother, the indefatigable Orton deliberately delays the proceedings in order to bring him closer to his goal. But when the mysterious Mr Krell eventually emerges, it seems his misadventures have only just begun

In the year 2000, Vanessa and the Vanguard was performed in Johannesburg and Pretoria to great acclaim by Post Punk Productions, the same year in which it received a number of nominations at AMFEST.

Renowned South African actress and critic Lizz Meiring wrote that Krueger's writing was "delicious" and that he had achieved ... "a veritable Mozart of the written word."


40 mins approx


(2m, 1f)
  • Orton T Norton - an oddly beclad detective who comes across as highly erratic, he undergoes frenetic changes of mood and moves effortlessly from extreme anger to subservience and back again
  • Vanessa - quintissentially lovely, weepy and melodramatic, the beauty spot is optional
  • Waiter - remains poker-faced throughout and appears in gloves, bow-tie and tails.

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