Montoni, ou Le Chateau d'Udolphe
The original text
It is one of a number of French plays based on Mrs Ann Radcliffe's immensely popular 18th century gothic novel The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). (For more on the novel as source material for plays, see The Mysteries of Udolpho)
Duval's version was first performed at the Théatre de S.M. l'Impératrice, on 29 July 1813 and published in Paris by Fages in the same year.
Translations and adaptations
A second, and slightly different, Dutch stage version of the novel, by an unknown author (though the source seems to suggest it may also have been Bruggemans), is called Het Testament, of De Geheimen van Udolpho, and was also published in Amsterdam by J.W. Smit, this one in 1801.
The best known English stage version is The Mysteries of Udolpho, or The Phantom of the Castle, a drama in five acts by John Baylis, apparently based on a French version, most probably also Duval's. This was never performed in its time, but published in 1804. The text was later performed however, e.g. at the Stalybridge Grand, July 20, 1901 and in West London, September, 1904.
Performance history in South Africa
1819: First performed in Dutch as Montoni, of Het Kasteel van Udolpho by Het Hollandsch Toneellievend Gezelschap (Men Doet Wat Men Kan) in the African Theatre, Cape Town, on 10 July 1819, with De Dochter van Pharao (Von Kotzebue).
1836 Performed in Dutch as Montoni, of Het Kasteel van Udolpho by Vlyt en Kunst in the African Theatre on 10 September 1836, with music composed by Mr W. Brandt; alongside the afterpiece Nognetzoo (Boniface), a one-act comic ballet called Het Fancy Bal!!!, and, as an interlude, a "zeer prachtig Transparant" ("a very beautiful transparency" (as cited by Bosman) by Den Heer Poortemans. Music provided by the musical group De Vriendschap. The evening was a benefit performance to help Mr J.J. de Kock with litigation costs he had incurred.
1838: Performed in Dutch as Montoni, of Het Kasteel van Udolpho by members of the amateur company Vlyt en Kunst in the Liefhebbery Toneel ("the amateur theatre") on 9 September, under the directorship of J.J. de Kock, followed by a "comic ballet dance".
1845: Performed in Dutch as Montoni, of Het Kasteel van Udolpho by Het Hollandsch Toneellievend Gezelschap using the combined mottoes Tot Nut en Vermaak en Door Yver Vruchtbaar in the Hollandse Skouburg ("the Dutch theatre") on 17 September, with De Sint Nicolaas Avond, of Het Bezoek door den Schoorsteen (Kup).
1870: Performed in Dutch as Het Testament, of De Geheimen van Udolpho by Kunst en Vlyt in the Loyal St George Lodge Hall, Cape Town on 7 June, with Vier Schildwachten op eenen Post (The title possibly adapted, since this is a breakaway group from Door Yver Bloeit de Kunst, doing a standard play often used by the former company.)
The Stage Encyclopaedia: A Bibliography of Plays: pp. 310-11
Adrianus Bruggemans, in Vaderlandsche Letteroefeningen by A. van der Kroe and J.W. Yntema and Company. Amsterdam 1801
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