The original text
The German text, called a "Schwank in Vier Akten" was first performed in 1878 and the text published in 1891, with an English introduction, notes and vocabulary by B.W. Wells.
Translations and adaptations
The play was translated into English and adapted by Charles Hawtrey (1858-1923) and re-titled as The Private Secretary. The English play originally had four acts, but was soon reduced to three acts and became very successful, running at the Cambridge Royal Theatre in 1883 before being brought to London in 1884, and playing there until 1886. Hawtrey himself revived the play twice, in 1892 at the Comedy Theatre, and in 1895 at the Avenue Theatre.
Performance history in South Africa
1886: Performed as The Private Secretary by the Wheeler Brothers Company in the Theatre Royal in Burg Street, Cape Town, with Irish Justice (Anon./Morton?) in May. It was their opening production there, and Frank Wheeler played the leading roles in both plays ("Reverend Spalding" and "Peter Mulvaney").
1892: Performed as The Private Secretary in the Vaudeville Theatre, Cape Town, by the visiting Emilie Bevan Comedy Company as part of a three-and-a-half month season of 20 plays which began on 8 August.
1903: Performed as The Private Secretary in the Good Hope Theatre, Cape Town, for a few nights towards the end of the year by Frank Wheeler (as "Rev Spalding") and what was apparently an inadequate "scratch" company.
1929: Presented as The Private Secretary by the Kokstad Amateur Dramatic Society, produced by S.J. Halford, with A.L. Moon, Douglas Halford, Eric Haird, Tom Christie, Mrs T. Scott Warren, Maud Sandwich, Gertrude Wallace. Scenery imported from Messrs Samuel French from London, adapted for local requirements by Joe Cuthbert.
Facsimile version of the German text, edited with introduction, notes and vocabulary by B.W. Wells
Ludwig Wilhelm Berthold Binge. 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950). Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik.
P.J. du Toit. 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica.
Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg.
Footlights 1(5):12, 1929.
Inskip, Donald P., 1972.
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