Alfred, or The Magic Banner

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Alfred, or The Magic Banner is a historic play by John O'Keeffe (1747 – 1833)[1].

The original play

First performed at Haymarket Little Theatre on 22 June 1796. The play was not a success and closed after three nights. One source refers to it as an opera called The Magic Banner , saying that it was not published separately, but is apparently identical with Alfred, or The Magic Banner, a drama published in the collected edition of O'Keeffe's work in 1798.

James Pocock based his opera Alfred the Great, or the Enchanted Standard on O'Keeffe's text. This was produced at Covent Grarden on 3 Nov. 1827.

Performance history in South Africa

1802: Performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town as their last production by the Garrison Players or "Thespian Society" on Tuesday 12 October, 1802, with The Sultan, or A Peep in the Seraglio (Bickerstaffe).

Translations and adaptations


Ruth Wehlau (2011) Alfred and Ireland: Irony and Irish Identity in John O'Keeffe's Alfred , European Romantic Review, 22:6, 801-817[2]'Keeffe_(Irish_writer)'Keeffe,_John_(DNB00)

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [3]: pp. 68,

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