Josephine, The Child of the Regiment

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Josephine, The Child of the Regiment is a musical comedy by John Baldwin Buckstone (1802-1879)[1].

Also found with the titles Josephine, the Child of the Regiment, or The Fortune of War and as The Daughter of the Regiment.

The original text

The play is in part based on the two act opéra comique[2], La fille du régiment[3] ("The Daughter of the Regiment") by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)[4]. This was first performed on 11 February 1840 by the Paris Opéra-Comique at the Salle de la Bourse, after which it was translated into Italian and later into English. Buckstone most probably saw it in the English version at the Surrey Theatre, London, on 21 December, 1847. (The Italian version had been played at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, on 27 May, 1847).

Buckstone's play was first performed as Josephine, The Child of the Regiment at Theatre Royal, Haymarket and first published in London by Thomas Hailes Lacy in 1856.

It was later renamed - somewhat confusingly - The Daughter of the Regiment by some companies, (for example it was played with this title on August 19, 1872, by the Rotunda Vaudeville Company in Liverpool, and in South Africa during the 1880s).

Translations and adaptations

W.S. Gilbert wrote a burlesque adaptation of the Donizetti opera, called La Vivandière, in 1867.

Performance history in South Africa

1885: Performed as The Daughter of the Regiment in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, produced by Mr H.C. Sidney and partner Mr H.J. Fiedler during the course of the year.


Facsimile version of Lacy's 1856 text, The Internet Archive[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 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

Facsimile version of the "Monthly Critic and Miscellany" (p.52) in The Court magazine and belle assemblée [afterw.] and monthly critic and the Lady's magazine and museum, (Volume 24), Google E-book[6]

R.J. Broadbent. 1969. Annals of the Liverpool Stage, from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. B. Blom: p.295 [7] By

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.381.

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