Family Jars

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Family Jars is an operatic farce in two acts with a libretto by Joseph Lunn (1784–1863)[1] and music by George Frederick Perry (1793–1862)[2].

The original text

Originally entitled Family Jars, or The Double Mistake and the Triple Discovery and produced 26 August, 1822 at the The Little Theatre (or Theatre Royal) Haymarket, London, being acted nineteen times. Performed at the Park Theatre and Burton's Theatre in New York in the same year it would seem.

Published by Samuel French in London in 1822, and Murden in New York in 1826 and a number of times later - the "operatic farce" being dropped in many cases and it simply styled "a farce in two acts".

There seems to be some confusion about the nature of the text however, for it is given as a farce in two acts in most published editions of the play text, including those by French and Murden noted above, as well as editions by Turner and Fisher, Philapdelphia in 18**?; The Dramatic Publishing Company's series Sergels's Acting Drama No 230, Chicago, 1860 and De Witt's Acting Plays (circa 1860s).

However it is listed as a one act farce by Gerald le Grys Norgate in Lunn's biography (Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 34[3])and in the published version in Lacy's ‘Acting Edition of Plays,’ vol. xiv. 1850.

Performance history in South Africa

1855: Performed in Cape Town by Sefton Parry as afterpiece to Used Up, or The Peer and the Ploughboy (Boucicault), with a musical interlude. This was done on Wednesday 13 June, in a Drawing Room Theatre which he had constructed in the Commercial Rooms in Cape Town.

1857: Performed in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, by Sefton Parry and his company on 17 December, as afterpiece to The Jacobite (Planché), with a musical interlude by the brass band of the Cape Royal Rifles and a "Highland Fling" by Mr Gough. The cast of the play included Parry himself (as "Old Delph") and Miss Delmaine. The evening was in aid of the "Indian Relief Fund".

1861: Performed in the new Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 10 October by the Sefton Parry company, as afterpiece to Aladdin, or The Wonderful Lamp .

1861: Performed in the new Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 17 October by the Sefton Parry company, as afterpiece to The Rose of Ettrick Vale, or The Bridal of the Borders (Lynch), a ballad recited by James Leffler and a "Pas Seul" performed by Miss Powell. The evening a benefit for T. Brazier .

1867: Performed by the Le Roy-Duret Company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 25 and 28 November, with Two Loves and a Life (Taylor and Reade), a "Pas Seul" by Miss Clara.

Translations and adaptations


Margaret Ross Griffel. 2012. Operas in English: A Dictionary (Vol. 2). Scarecrow Press[4]: p. 165.,_Joseph_(DNB00)

Facsimile version of the 1860 edition, Hathitrust-ebook[5]

Facsimile version of the Turner and Fisher edition, E-Bay[6]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [7]: pp. 428-9,

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 60, 65, 99, 231

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