The Lady of Lyons

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There are two 19th century plays which are often referred to by the shortened title of The Lady of Lyons: a melodrama by E. Bulwer-Lytton and a burlesque by H. Byron.

The Lady of Lyons, or Love and Pride (Bulwer-Lytton, 1838)

This is a melodrama in five acts by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)[1], generally known by the shorter title of The Lady of Lyons.

The original text

Written in 1838, first produced in London by W.C. Macready at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden in 1838, also in New York in the same year. It was also the basis for two 19th century operas and an opretta.

First published 1838 by Saunders and Otley and printed by William Clowes and Sons, London.

The play was immensely popular and often performed throughout the empire in the 19th century

Translations and adaptations

A burlesque version called The Latest Edition of The Lady of Lyons, or Two-penny Pride and Penny-tence was written by Henry Byron in 1858. (See entry below).

Performance history in South Africa

1851: A reading of speeches from the play (as well as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, etc.) by Mrs Greig, a visiting stage artist on her way to England from an engagement in the eastern colonies, took place in the Commercial Rooms in Cape Town in May. She was assisted by local performer Mr Hall.

1855: Performed in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town by visiting tragedian G.V. Brooke and company on 5 January. In the cast were Mr Brooke himself, Mr R. Younge, Fanny Cathcart, and Mr Hall.

1857: Performed by Sefton Parry and his company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 22 October, with Husbands Beware (a "Domestic Scene One Act") as afterpiece.

1858: Performed in the Cape Town Theatre by Sefton Parry and his company on 23 March, with The Dancing Barber (Selby) and Macbeth (the extravaganza by C. Talfourd).

1860: Performed in the Cape Town Theatre by Sefton Parry and his company on 23 January, with The Rights and Wrongs of Women (Morton), and a "Sword Dance and Hornpipe by The Highland Pipers and Dancers (members of the Scotch Volunteer Brigade", and a "Fan Dance" by Miss Powell.

1860: Performed on the Eastern Cape border by "The Serjeants" (sic) of the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot as as The Lady of Lyons, or Love and Pride on July 21, 26 and 27, and August 3. The cast consisted of Serjeant Major T. H. Smith (Claude Melnotte), Color Serjeant W. Shaw (Colonel, afterwards General Damas, cousin to Madame Deschappelles and an Officer in the French Army), Serjeant J. Lydon (Monsieur Beauseant, a rich gentleman of Lyons, in love with, and refused by Pauline Deschappelles), Color serjeant G.R. Hungerford (Monsieur Glavis, Beauseant's friend, also a rejected suitor to Pauline), Serjeant P. Fox (Monsieur Deschappelles, a Lyonnese merchant, father to Pauline), Color Sergeant B. Martins (Landlord of the Golden Lion), Drum Major A. Craig (Gasper), Serjeant J. Hanrahan (Servant), Serjeant M. Lyons (First Officer), Serjeant J. Hanrahan (Second Officer), Drum Major A. Craig (Third Officer), Lance Corporal J. Davies (Pauline Deschappelles), Lance Corporal J. Smith (Madame Deschappelles, Pauline's mother), Corporal G Brown (The Widow Melnotte, mother to Claude), Corporal G. Brown (Marian, maid to Pauline). Also included in the evening's entertainment were a solo was performed on the violin in seven different positions by W. Allen. Then a comic song "Solomon Lob" in character by J. M. M'Kechnie, followed by The Wandering Minstrel (Mayhew) and The Kiss in the Dark (Buckstone and Moore).

1861: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Sefton Parry and his company on 30 May, with Mr. & Mrs. Peter White (Selby), a ballad by James Leffler and a "Scotch Lilt" by Miss Powell.

1861: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Sefton Parry and his company on 22 August, with the operetta Rendezvous, or Love in All Corners (Ayrton).

1863: F.C.L. Bosman (1980, p. 297) refers to a performance in Port Elizabeth during August of a play he calls the Lady of Lycus by the P.E. Dramatic Club, assisted by former members of the Sefton Parry company. The leads performed by Samuel Wolfe and B. Howard. The title is probably a printing error and the play in question is The Lady of Lyons.

1864: A reading of the play performed by Thomas Brazier, as one of his series of Dramatic Readings held every second Monday in the Cape Town City Hall between 4 July and 7 November. (Other plays in the series of seven works read were Knowles's The Hunchback and five plays by Shakespeare: Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, King John and Much Ado about Nothing.)

1866: Performed by the Ray and Cooper Company as part of a benefit to Mrs Cooper in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, 15 January, with the assistance of "members of the various Dramatic Clubs in Cape Town". Also performed was Lady Audley's Secret (Hazlewood).

1866: Performed by the Le Roy-Duret Company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 2 April, with The Married Rake (Selby)

1867: Performed by the Le Roy-Duret Company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 2 December, with The Lottery Ticket (Read), a song and a Pas Seul by Miss Clara.

1867: Performed by the Le Roy-Duret Company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 12 December, with the burlesque of Medea (Read).

1868: Scenes from the play were performed as part of a "Musical and Dramatic Entertainment" by the Le Roy and Duret company in the Commercial Exchange, Cape Town on 27 January. The evening was under the patronage Governor Wodehouse, and the programme also included songs, dances, and scenes read and performed from Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), King John (Shakespeare), The Hunchback (Knowles) and A Rough Diamond (Buckstone).

1873: Performed in the Odd Fellows Hall, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company on 13 December with The Spitalfields Weaver (Bayly)

1875: Performed in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company on 20 May with Poor Pillicoddy (Morton)

1876: Performed in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, on 19 May by the Disney Roebuck company, managed by C. Wilstone, with A Kiss in the Dark (Buckstone).

1877: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company on 24 August, under the patronage of the Brazilian warship "Bahiana".

1877: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company on 30 August, "as a benefit for the sick and wounded of the Turkish War".

1878: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Smith and Thatcher Company (led by Henry Smith, Richard Thatcher and Ada Ward) on 10 September.

1878: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Smith and Thatcher Company on 13 September, with the "balcony scene" and the "potion scene" from Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), Ada Ward playing "Romeo". Included also some songs sung by Miss Seyton and Miss Harper.

1878: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 20 September by the Smith and Thatcher Company, announced as the "Last appearance of Miss Ada Ward" and benefit for Mr Henry Smith. Also performed To Oblige Benson (Lemoine-Moreau and Delacour/Taylor).

1887: Performed as part of the repertoire of the Wheeler Theatre Company when they played in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town during April and May. Probably directed by Sutton Vane.

1895: Performed as part of the repertoire of a company featuring Miss Fortesque, Herbert Flemming and Charles Arnold, brought out to South Africa by Luscombe Searelle. In Cape Town the company played in the Opera House from September of the year and Miss Fortesque took the leading role in this particular play.

1904: Performed by Leonard Rayne and his company as part of his touring repertoire, inter alia playing at the Opera House, Cape Town in the second half of the year.

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady_of_Lyons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bulwer-Lytton

Digital version of the 1838 published text(Google eBook)[2]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [3]: pp. 410-11, 441

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 59, 63, 68-78, 87, 97-100, 134, 189, 192, 201-210, 231-234, 297, 310, 313, 324, 331-339, 359-372, 384, 402, 421.

William Groom. 1899-1900. Drama in Cape Town. Cape Illustrated Magazine, 10(4): 478-481, 517-520, 547-552, 580-584, 640-643, 670-672, 706-708.

North Lincoln Sphinx Vol 1, No 1. January 1, 1860.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

The Latest Edition of The Lady of Lyons, or Two-penny Pride and Penny-tence (Byron, 1858)

Like the original play, the burlesque version is also on occasion referred to by the shorter title of The Lady of Lyons, and the title (and possibly the text) appears a variety of forms over the course of the 19th century. Bosman (1980:p. 145) for example has various titles, including 'The Lady of Lyons or Two-penny Pride and Penny-Tence, The Latest Edition of The Lady of Lyons, or Two-penny Pride and Penny-tence and The Very Latest Addition of the Lady of Lyons, as well as the simple title of The Lady of Lyons.

The original text

This is a burlesque extravaganza in three acts by Henry Byron (1835-1884)[4].

Written in verse, it is said to have been founded on Bulwer-Lytton's drama The Lady of Lyons, or Love and Pride and is furthermore called the "Lady of Lyons Travestie" in the text, which was published by T.H. Lacy in 1858. The play was first performed in The Strand Theatre, London, on 1 February, 1858.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1859: Performed as The Lady of Lyons, or Two-penny Pride and Penny-Tence on 22 March in the Harrington Street Theatre by the Cape Town Dramatic Club, with The Evil Genius (Bernard) and a performance of the brass band of the 59th Regiment.

1859: Performed on 30 June in the Harrington Street Theatre by the Cape Town Dramatic Club, with The Little Treasure (Harris) and a performance of the brass band of the Cape Royal Rifles. The evening a benefit for Miss Delmaine.

1866: According to F.C.L. Bosman (1980, p. 192) it was performed as "the unrivalled humurously [sic] illustrative burlesque Extravaganza The Very Latest Addition of the Lady of Lyons" on 15 January in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Ray and Cooper Company, with the assistance of "members of the various Dramatic Clubs in Cape Town", as a benefit to Mrs Cooper. Also performed was Lady Audley's Secret (Hazlewood).

Sources

Facsimile version of the 1858 edition by Lacy, Google E-book[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_James_Byron

William Groom. 1899-1900. Drama in Cape Town. Cape Illustrated Magazine, 10(4): 478-481, 517-520, 547-552, 580-584, 640-643, 670-672, 706-708.

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.145, 384

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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