Delicate Ground, or Paris in 1793

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Delicate Ground, or Paris in 1793 is a comic drama in one act by Charles Dance (1794–1863)[1] and James Robinson Planché (1796–1880)[2].

Also referred to simply as Delicate Ground! or Delicate Ground . Alternate titles include: Royalists and Republicans, or Delicate Ground or the shorter Royalists and Republicans.

The original text

There is some confusion about the work in the sources, for not only does the work appear under varying titles (Delicate Ground!, or - obviously wrongly - as Delicate Ground, in Paris in 1770), it is also ascribed at times to Charles Dance only, sometimes to James Robinson Planché, and in other instances to both authors. (See for example the sources apparently used by Bosman, 1928, pp. 399, 430.) The title Royalists and Republicans, or Delicate Ground is also found, and is ascribed to Dance. Another alternate title is the shorter Royalists and Republicans, found in Bosman (1980).

However, the original 1849 published text gives the author as "Charles Dance" only. In addition the publication dates differ vastly, with the more reliable versions indicating that it was first performed in the Royal Lyceum Theatre, London, Wednesday November 27 1849 and published in London by Thomas Hailes Lacy in 1849. Yet William Taylor & Company are also mentioned, as is an edition dated 1800 by Samuel French, New York (though this is clearly, given the ages of the gentlemen in question, simply a general indication of the century of publication).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1850: Performed as Delicate Ground! by the 73rd Regiment (Garrison Players) in the Garrison Theatre on Wednesday 26th September, with The Sentinel (Morton), A Lover by Proxy (Boucicault) and Box and Cox (Morton).

1855: Performed (and announced as Delicate Ground, in Paris in 1770 by a local journal) in the Drawing Room Theatre, Cape Town on Monday 2 July 1855 by Sefton Parry, followed by Monsieur Jacques (Barnett) and Domestic Economy (Lemon).

1860: Performed as Delicate Ground in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, by the Sefton Parry company on 27 February, with Pleasant Neighbour (Mrs Planché) and The Double Bedded Room (Morton). According to Bosman (1980: p. 79), Parry had done the play before, during his tenure, but this is the first time Bosman mentions it in his book.

1867: Performed as Delicate Ground by the Le Roy-Duret Company on 25 September as part of their "Grand Re-opening Night" in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, with Good for Nothing (Buckstone) , The Swiss Cottage (Bayly).

1867: Performed as Delicate Ground by the Le Roy-Duret Company on 25 September as part of their "Grand Re-opening Night" in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, with Good for Nothing (Buckstone) , The Swiss Cottage (Bayly).

1867: Performed as Delicate Ground by the Le Roy-Duret Company in the Harrington Street Theatre on 26, 27, and 30 December, followed each night by the "New Grand Comic Christmas Pantomime" of Harlequin Prince Perseus, or The Maid and the Monster (Anon.).

1875: According to F.C.L. Bosman (1980) the Disney Roebuck Company performed a play listed as Royalists and Republicans ("Anon?") in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town, on 13 July. It was clearly a version of Royalists and Republicans, or Delicate Ground by Dance and Planché and was presented with Betsy Baker (Morton) and Ruin (Holcroft).

1877: Performed as Delicate Ground, or Paris in 1793 in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company on 21 September, with The Relief of Lucknow (Boucicault).

1877: Performed as Delicate Ground in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company on 5 November, with Aurora Floyd (Webster).

1878: Performed in the New Theatre, De Goede Hoop Gardens, Cape Town by Captain Disney Roebuck's company on 18 and 19 January, as Royalists and Republicans, or Delicate Ground (ascribed to Dance), along with Aunt Charlotte's Maid (Morton).

1878: Performed as Delicate Ground in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, on 18 October by St John Knight and company, with Milky White (Craven).

1885: Performed as Delicate Ground in Cape Town by the Henry Harper Company, with Disney Roebuck in the cast.

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dance_(playwright)

Text of play in the Library of Congress Internet Archive[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Planch%C3%A9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Planch%C3%A9_bibliography

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Delicate-Ground-or-Paris-1793-Charles-Dance/9781161715453

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 399, 430

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 79, 230-1, 325, 360-4, 373, 380.


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