Bluebell in Fairyland

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Bluebell in Fairyland is a musical dream play in two acts by Seymour Hicks (1871-1949)[1], with music by Walter Slaughter (1860-1908)[2], and lyrics provided by Aubrey Hopwood (1863-1917)[3] and Charles H. Taylor (1859–1907) [4].

The title also found as Blue-Bell in Fairyland, later also simply as Bluebell or Blue Bell.

The original text

First produced at the Vaudeville Theatre in London on 18 December 1901, with Seymour Hicks, Ellaline Terriss and Phyllis Dare, and played for two performances daily until 26 June 1902. A new version, now simply called Bluebell (or Blue Bell), was performed as the opening piece at the newly constructed Aldwych Theatre, London, on 23 December, 1905 by Hicks and Co.

Apparently it was the first full-length original children's play (i.e. not a pantomime or adaptation of a book) done on the London stage, and the piece apparently inspired the writing of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan stories.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1903: Performed as Bluebell in Fairyland at the Opera House, Cape Town, by the visiting Mouillot Company (under the auspices of Frank de Jongh) some time in May or June.

1908: Performed as Bluebell in Fairyland at the Opera House, Cape Town, by the Wheeler Juvenile Opera and Musical Company during the Christmas season, featuring Dan Leno Jr. (said to be the son of the original Dan Leno) in the lead.


Daniel Hahn. 2015. The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature. OUP: p.75[5]

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. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 414, 429

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