Der Raub der Sabinerinnen

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Der Raub der Sabinerinnen ("The Rape of the Sabine Women") is a German comedy by Franz von Schönthan (1849-1913)[1] and Paul von Schönthan (1853-1905)[2]

The original text

A play about a penniless theatre company performing a local professor's tragedy called "The Rape of the Sabine Women", in a small provincial town, turning it into a comic farce.

Written in von 1883 and first performed in Stettin, Austria, in 1884. First published in Berlin by Lasser's Buchhandlung, 1885.

Performed in the German original in London at the Great Queen's Street Theatre 11-14 February, 1905.


Adapted into an English comedy in four acts called A Night Off, or a Page from Balzac (or simply A Night Off) by Augustin Daly (1838–1899)[3] and produced at Daly's Theatre, New York on 4 March, 1885. First printed, as manuscript only, for the author, by the press of the Globe Printing Company, Philadelphia, in 1885 and formally published in New York by Fitzgerald Publishing Company, c1897.

Filmed three times in German (1928, 1936 and 1954) and once in Italian (as Il ratto delle Sabine, 1945), and numerous times broadcast in German as a radio drama and on TV.

Performance history in South Africa

1900: Performed in Daly's English version as A Night Off by the Herbert Flemming Company as part of an extended season in the Opera House, Cape Town.


Facsimile version of the 1885 manuscript of the English text by Daly, Hathi Trust Digital Library[4]

Facsimile version of the 1897 English text by Daly, Hathi Trust Digital Library[5]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.408

J.P. Wearing. 2013. The London Stage 1900-1909: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. (p. 220). Scarecrow Press, Google E-book[6]

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