La Jeunesse de Henri V

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La Jeunesse de Henri V is a French prose comedy in three acts by Alexandre Duval (Alexandre-Vincent Pineux Duval, 1767-1842)[1].

Also found as La Jeunesse d'Henri V

The play Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch is an adaptation based on it. Other possible derivative works include the ballets Betty and The Wags of Wapping and possibly Charles II, or The Wags of Wapping.

The original play

Performed in the Théâtre Français, on 9 June, 1806 and at St Cloud before the royal family on 22 June. Published in Paris in 1806.

Translations and adaptations

The Dutch translation

Translated into Dutch by С. Vandevyver/C. vandeVyvere as De Jeugd van Hendrik den Vyfde. Performed on 2 March, 1819 in the "Schauwburg van Rhetorica" in Gand (= Ghent), Belgium.

Payne's English adaptation

An English adaptation, entitled Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch was done by John Howard Payne (1791–1852)[2]. By Payne's own admission it was based on (and largely an English translation of) a printed copy of Duval's play which he had found in Paris. Apparently Washington Irving (1783–1859)[3] assisted in the writing of the play, but is not credited, or at most is mentioned as "contributor" is some versions, and as "a literary friend" in the Preface by Payne. This version was first produced at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden by Charles Kemble in 1824 and published in London by John Cumberland, in 1824, and by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, also in 1824.

The Grand Ballet version

In 1846 a French Ballet version of the play, called Betty, was done by M. Mazilier, and first produced in Paris at the Academie Royale de Musique, as a vehicle for the prima ballerina Sophie Fuoco.

This version was re-produced and brought to London in 1846, now called The Wags of Wapping (since the title "Betty" did not work well at all in English) and was first performed at the Drury Lane Theatre on 16 November, 1846, with Fuoco in her first appearance before a London audience.

Performance history in South Africa

This play was apparently very popular in Cape Town during the mid-19th century, particularly in the English version by Payne.

1825: Produced as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch in Cape Town by the Garrison Players on 27 August, with as afterpiece the farce X.Y.Z. (Colman the Younger).

1829: Performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch in Cape Town by the Cape Town Amateur Company on 20 June 1829, with The Liar (Foote) as afterpiece.

1830: Performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch in Cape Town by All the World's a Stage on 19 June, 1830, as afterpiece to The Gambler's Fate, or A Lapse of Twenty Years (Thompson). Billed as a "Petite Comedy" on this occasion.

1831: Performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch once more ("by special request") in Cape Town by All the World's a Stage on 11 June, 1831, as afterpiece to The School of Reform, or How to Rule a Husband (Th. Morton).

1833: Performed in Dutch as De Jeugd van Hendrik den Vyfde on 10 August Door Yver Bloeit de Kunst in the African Theatre , with De Helleveeg (Loosjes).

1833: Performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch in Cape Town by members of All the World's a Stage, led by Mr Heath from the Theatre Royal at Liverpool, on 30 November 1833, as afterpiece to Venice Preserved (Otway).

1846: Performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch in Cape Town (possibly by All the World's a Stage) in the newly renamed Hope Street Theatre, now called the Victoria Theatre, on Tuesday 21 July, 1846, with an interlude (Fortune's Frolic, or The Ploughman Turned Lord by Allingham) and as afterpiece A Day after the Fair (Somerset).

1852: Performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch in Cape Town by members of the Garrison Players, including Captain Hall and Lieutenant Johnson, with the help of local English amateurs, on 24 March, 1852, as afterpiece to Othello (Shakespeare). The performance was part of three evenings done "for the benefit of the unfortunate soldiers who perished in H.M. Steamer Birkenhead". Unfortunately it appears that the three performances had apparently not served their intended purpose, as they eventually ran at a loss of £30.

1860: A performance of a work entitled Charles II, or The Wags of Wapping (ascribed to "Ryan?" by F.C.L. Bosman, 1980) was given on 12 November by the Cape Town Dramatic Club, in the Cape Town Theatre in Harrington street. The cast included the professionals Sefton Parry and Charles Fraser and featured miss Annie Rowlands, who also played "Betsy" in the accompanying piece, in her farewell to the stage. Given that Miss Rowlands was a gifted young dancer and actress, it is highly likely that this was an adapted version of the Ballet version of 1846.

1866: Payne's version performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch by Le Roy and Duret Company on 28 June in the Theatre Royal, with Black-Ey'd Susan (Jerrold).

1866: Payne's version performed as Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch by Le Roy and Duret Company on 9 July in the Theatre Royal, with an unnamed farce.

Sources

D.C. Boonzaier. 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 187, 202, 214, 216, 228, 401, 415

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.170, 211, 214, 215.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre-Vincent_Pineux_Duval

Facsimile version of the 1806 edition of the original French play, The Internet Archive[5]

Facsimile version of the 1806 edition of the original French play, Google E-book[6]

Advert for the Schauwburg van Rhetorica in the Journal d'affiches de Gand et de la Flandre, 21 March 1819 (P. 4)[7]

Facsimile version of the 1824 edition of the English version by John Cumberland, London. Google E-Book[8]

Facsimile version of the 1849 edition of the English version by J. Douglas, New York. Google E-Book[9]

http://www.brickrow.com/cgi-bin/brickrow/16094.html

http://www.answers.com/topic/charles-the-second

http://victorian.nuigalway.ie/modx/index.php?id=144

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

The Illustrated London News, Volume 9 , p. November 1, 1846: p325[10]

The Theatrical times, 1847: p. 208[11]

Facsimile version of the 1846 edition by William Taylor, The Internet Archive[12]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [13]: pp. 218, 255, 320-321, 331. .

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