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Confusion is a dramatic sketch by Francis W. Moore (fl. late 19th century).

The original text

Described by D.C. Boonzaier (1923) as a "perfectly constructed and intensely amusing farcical comedy" in his reminiscences of the 1897 production in Cape Town.

Little information is available on the internet about either the author or the play, but a collection, Original Plays and Duologues: Chiefly Humorous by Francis W. Moore was published by Dean and Son, Limited, London in 1898 [1],

The Yellow Nineties Online[2] (edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra and Dennis Denisoff) provides the following information regarding Dean & Son's advertisements for books by Moore, and describes the volume discussed above as follows:

"This Collection of Short Plays, Duologues, and Proverbs in Action is intended as an addition to the scanty assortment of pieces suitable for private representation. Having been originally written for this purpose, they involve only a very limited number of characters, and no exceptional amount of dramatic experience. Each is comprised within a single act, and the requirements as to scenery, costumes, and stage appliances are of a simple kind. The scenes are all indoors. All are available for performance, whether in public or private, without payment. The Plays in this volume may also be had separately, in paper covers, crown 8vo, at 6d each." Moore apparently also compiled another volume, entitled Humorous Pieces. A Collection of Original Recitations in Prose and Verse.

This collection of plays and duologues was reprinted in 2011 by Amazon[3]

No references to British performances have been found and the only reference to a recorded American performance is to one in 1904 in the Lakewood Theater, Lakewood, Maine.[4]

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1887: The play was performed as part of the repertoire of the Wheeler Theatre Company when they played in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town during April and May. Probably directed by Sutton Vane and featuring the actor E.A. Elton in one of the leads, it was generally well received.


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: p.384.

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