Les Pattes de Mouche

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Les Pattes de Mouche ("the paws of the fly") is a comedy in three acts by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908)[1]

The original text

Originally performed at the Théâtre du Gymnase in 1860 and first published by M. Lévy Frères in Paris in the same year. It was Sardou's first real success and would go on to see 52 editions published (in four languages) between 1860 and 1978.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted into English as A Scrap of Paper, a comedy in three acts by John Palgrave Simpson (1808-1887)[2], and first performed in St James's Theatre, London, on 22 April, 1861.

Filmed in French as Les Pattes de Mouche by Jean Grémillon in 1936[3].

Performance history in South Africa

1891-2: Performed in English as A Scrap of Paper by the Geneviève Ward Company during a nine months' tour of South Africa, under the auspices of Luscombe Searelle, featuring Geneviève Ward and W.H. Vernon in the leading roles.



"Online Books by Victorien Sardou", The Online Books Page[4]

"Sardou, Victorien 1831-1908", WorldCat[5]


Facsimile version of the English text published in Boston by Walter H. Baker & Co. in 1911, The Internet Archive[6].


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.393

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