Betsy Baker!, or Too Attentive by Half

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Betsy Baker!, or Too Attentive by Half is a farce in one act by John Maddison Morton (1812-1854)[1].

Also found as Betsy Baker, or Too Attentive by Half or simply as Betsy Baker

The original text

First performed at the Royal Princess's Theatre, London in 1850 and published by Duncombe and Company, London and Samuel French.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1859: Performed on 1 February Cape Town Dramatic Club, in the Cape Town Theatre in Harrington street, featuring miss Annie Rowlands as "Betsy", with Not a Bad Judge, or Lavater, the Physiognomist (Planché)

1860: Performed on 12 November by the Cape Town Dramatic Club, in the Cape Town Theatre in Harrington street, with the professionals Sefton Parry and Fraser and featuring miss Annie Rowlands as "Betsy" in her "farewell to the stage". Also performed was Charles II, or The Wags of Wapping (Ryan?).

1861: Performed as Betsy Baker, or Too Attentive by Half by the company of Sefton Parry in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 5 September, with The Stranger (Kotzebue/Thompson/Sheridan).

1865: Performed as Betsy Baker by the Valorous Amateurs (amateur players from H.M.S. Valorous) in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, on 17 November, with Michael Erle, the Maniac Lover (Wilks) and Ben Bolt (Johnstone).

1867: Performed as Betsy Baker by "Le Roy's Original Company" in the Theatre Royal in Harrington Street, with The French Spy (Haynes?).

1868: Performed as Betsy Baker by the Lanarkshire Dramatic Club (amateur players from the 99th Regiment) in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, on 23 and on 25 April, with Bombastes Furioso (Rhodes), as "an Officers Performance in aid of the Club".

1871: A performance of an unidentified piece called Betsy Jane was presented by the visiting D'Arcy Read Theatrical Company in the Cape Town Gardens, on 27 November, as part of a "Grand Fête Champêtre" they did there, the other acts also including Ghost Illusions by D'Arcy Read. It could possibly have been an adapted version of Betsy Baker!, or Too Attentive by Half,(otherwise of My Precious Betsy, also by Morton in the same year).

1875: Performed as Betsy Baker by the Disney Roebuck Company in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town, on 13 July, with a play listed as Ruin (most probably The Road to Ruin by Holcroft) and Royalists and Republicans (given as "Anon?", but actually by Dance and Planché).

1876: Performed as Betsy Baker by the Disney Roebuck Company in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, on 9 Septemberwith Under the Gaslight (Daly) and Little Don Giovanni (Byron).

1877: Performed as Betsy Baker, or Too Attentive by Half by the Disney Roebuck Company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 13 November, with Arrah-na-Pogue (Boucicault).

1877: Performed as Betsy Baker, or Too Attentive by Half by the Disney Roebuck Company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 15 November, with The Hunchback (Knowles).

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maddison_Morton

Facsimile version of the 1850 Duncombe publication, Hathi Trust Digital Library[2]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 99, 168, 170, 221, 251, 262, 267, 270,325, 342, 362

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