Crutch and Toothpick

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Crutch and Toothpick, a comedy in three acts by G.R. Sims (1847–1922)[1].

The original text

Based on an unnamed farce by Eugène Labiche ()[2], it was adapted into English produced in the Royalty Theatre, London, 1879 and enjoyed a run for 240 nights.

The English title is taken from the music hall expression meaning referring to the "Crutch and Toothpick brigade"[3] A crutch was a handled walking stick and the toothpick is refering to a gold toothpick that fops used to wear as a form of jewelry, so the tight trousered, crutch sticks and gold toothpick characters were dubbed the 'Crutch and Toothpick' brigade. Often of hangers-about at stage door.[4]

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

According to some sources it was performed in the Theatre Royal, Port Elizabeth, by Captain Disney Roebuck's company April 20–21, 1876! As this is highly unlikely, given the opening of the play in London in 1879, the date must have been later, late 1879 at the very earliest.


Margaret Harradine. 1995. Port Elizabeth: A Social Chronicle to the End of 1945. Port Elizabeth: E.H. Walton Packaging (Pty) Ltd.

Laidler, 1926

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