Box and Cox
The original text
The author of the Wikipedia entry on Morton notes that Box and Cox "was in the tradition of E. F. Prieur and A. Letorzec's Une Chambre pour Deux (1839), which had been the source for Morton's 1843 piece The Double-Bedded Room. However, he then goes on to note that an eminent authority such as the playwright F.C. Burnand (who would later adapt the play as an opera) discounted the importance of La Chambre à Deux Lits in this case , saying that Morton's play was clearly based on the French one-act vaudeville, Frisette by Eugène Labiche and Auguste Lefranc, which had been produced in Paris in the Théâtre du Palais-Royal on 28 April 1846 and published by Editions Michel Lévy frères in the same year.
(For more on the French original, see https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frisette.)
Box and Cox was first produced in English at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 1 November 1847, billed as a "romance of real life", it became a popular nineteenth century play, billed by The New York Times of 1891 as "the best farce of the nineteenth century". The oldest extant published appears to be the one in The Minor Drama XXII by Douglas at No 11 Spruce Street, New York.
Translations and adaptations
Cox and Box, or The Long-Lost Brothers, a one-act comic opera based on Morton's play, was written by F.C. Burnand (1836-1917), to music by Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900), and first performed in 1866.
(For more on the operetta see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cox_and_Box.)
Performance history in South Africa
1850: Performed on 17 September by "Captain Hall's Company" (popular name at the time for the Garrison Players) in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town , as an afterpiece to A New Way to Pay Old Debts (Massinger).
1850: Performed again on 26 September by "Captain Hall's Company" (popular name at the time for the Garrison Players) in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town , with Delicate Ground! (Planché), A Lover by Proxy (Boucicault) and The Sentinel (Morton).
1853: Performed on Monday 31 October by the Amateur Company in the Garrison Theatre, alongside Power and Principle (Barnett) and Circumstantial Evidence (Carew). The presentation was apparently repeated Monday 7 November.
1855: Part of the repertoire and thus possibly performed by the G.V. Brooke company in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, during the revictualling of their vessel en route to the Australian goldfields in 1854-55.
1861: Produced by Officers of the Regiment (North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot) in the Garrison Theatre, Grahamstown on 9 and 12 September, with Crinoline (Brough) and Only a Halfpenny (Oxenford). The cast consisted of R. Annesley Esq. (Box), Sergeant J. Lydon (Cox), Corporal J. Davies (Mrs Bouncer). (For more on contemporary responses to the performances, see the entry on the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot)
1866: Performed in the Garrison Theatre by the dramatic company of the 9th Regiment, on 23 October with the burlesque Romeo and Juliet Travestie, or The Cup of Cold Poison (Halliday) (the latter strangely titled Romeo and Juliet, or The Cup of Cold Pison in Bosman, 1980). The plays were repeated on 30 October.
1878: Cox and Box, or The Long-Lost Brothers, the Burnand and Sullivan one-act musical version, presented on 22 June in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by the Disney Roebuck company. Billed as a "musical Triumviretta in one act by Arthur Sullivan", it was conducted by Signor Maggi. Also performed the evening were The Serious Family (Barnett) and a poem - "The Wreck of the Eurydice" - by Sutton Vane, written expressly for the occasion.
North Lincoln Sphinx Vol 1, No 8. September 30, 1861.
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