The original text
A rather dark play set partly in Budapest, Hungary, and partly in a waiting area just outside Heaven, relating the fraught relationship between Liliom, a tough, cocky carousel barker, Julie, a young woman who works as a maid and their child Julie.
The play was a failure when performed in the original Hungarian in 1909, but was much better received in the English translation when staged by in the Theatre Guild on Broadway, starring Joseph Schildkraut and Eva Le Gallienne (1921, revived 1932) and in England featuring Ivor Novello (1926).
While well-known in its own right during the early to mid-20th century, the play is probably best known today as the basis for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel (1945).
Translations and adaptations
The standard English translation by Benjamin Glazer (1887-1956) was done in 1921, and with it the play finally met with success when it was performed on Broadway in 1921. The full title of the translation is as published by Samuel French is Liliom: A Legend in Seven Scenes and a Prologue.
Though well-known in its as a play in its own right during the early to mid-20th century, it was also adapted in various ways for stage and film. The play is probably best known today as the basis for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version, Carousel (1945).
Performance history in South Africa
1946: Presented by the University of Cape Town Speech Training Department and produced by Lily-Jean Satusky in the Little Theatre in June , with George Stelzner, Zea Lurie, Harry Mann, Rachel King, Diana Berliner, Frank Wienburg, Anne Kretzmar. Settings by Basil Warner, lighting by H. Lerner.
1953: Directed by Cecil Williams, it was performed in the Library Theatre, Johannesburg in May with Leon Gluckman as "Liliom", Molly Seftel as "Julie". Other members of the cast include Maureen Chanani, Noreen Sterling, Frances Hossy.
Trek, 15 August 1941, 19.
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