Cool as a Cucumber

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Cool as a Cucumber is a farce in one act by W. Blanchard Jerrold (1826-1884)[1].

The original text

First performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre,London, on 24 March, 1851 and in the National Theatre, Boston also in 1851. Performed at the Broadway, New York, in 1857. Published by T.H. Lacy in 1851, and by Samuel French in 1857.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1861: Performed in the Garrison Theatre at Grahamstown or Keiskama Hoek by the Sargeants of the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot on June 13 and 17. The cast consisted of Sergeant J. Lydon (Old Barkins), Sergeant G. Gill (Frederick Barkins), Sergeant-Major T. H. Smith (Plumper), Corporal J. Davies (Miss Jessie Honiton), Private J. Durney (Wiggins). Also performed were the plays The Lady of the Lake (Scott/Dibdin) and the "Quarrel Scene," from Julius Caesar (Shakespeare), with an interlude by the Ethiopian Serenaders. (For more on contemporary responses to the performances, see the entry on the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot)

1865: Performed as to packed houses in the presence of Governor Wodehouse, in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Valorous Amateurs (amateur players from the visiting ship the H.M.S. Valorous). Also performed was The Dream at Sea (Buckstone), with music by the 10th Regiment.

1868: Performed by Le Roy and Duret in the Commercial Exchange, Cape Town, on 10 February with Catherine and Petrucchio, or Taming the Shrew (Shakespeare) and Bandwell vs. Pickwick (Dickens), as a farewell benefit for Miss Raynor and Mr Bennee. Repeated on the 13th of February.

1876: Performed by the Disney Roebuck company in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, on 25 April, with Pygmalion and Galatea (Gilbert).

1891-2: Performed by the Geneviève Ward Company during a nine months' tour of South Africa, under the auspices of Luscombe Searelle, featuring Geneviève Ward and W.H. Vernon in the leading roles.


A facsimile version of the 1857 edition by Samuel French, The Internet Archive[2].

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 232, 270, 338 and 393.

North Lincoln Sphinx Vol 1, No 7. June 13, 1861.

North Lincoln Sphinx Vol 1, No 8. September 30, 1861.

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