Municipal Muddles, or Love in the Dark
Also referred to simply as Municipal Muddles.
The original text
Probably a satire on local politics, written by Charles Utting (also found as C. Utting), a Capetonian author and first performed in Cape Town 1867. It had been written especially for J.H. le Roy and his company, and was described as a "good natured" satire of the municipal issues of the time, when the perceived inefficiencies of the old "Municipal Board" had led to local agitation for a more efficient "Municipal Council". The romantic sub-plot, "Love in the Dark", is used to illustrate some of the issues (e.g. the dark streets and water shortages).
F.C.L. Bosman (1980, pp.221-5) cites The South African Commercial Advertiser and Mail (22 March, 1867), which provides the full programme of Le Roy's original production, including a substantial outline of tall three acts and the full cast list. According to contemporary reports the play was "well received" and a "decided success".
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1867: Performed by "Le Roy's Original Company" in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 25 March, with Margate Sands (Hancock). The cast consisted of J.H. le Roy, R. Webster, J. Spencer, T. Brazier, J.H. Leffler, A. Ray, Mr Edwards, B. Goldson, Mr Ryan, Mrs Smith, Marie Duret, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Ray and Miss Less, [], [], and The set was designed and painted by R.S. Cooper.
P.J. du Toit. 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica
Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg: p.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays
Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays
Return to PLAYS III: Collections
Return to South African Festivals and Competitions
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page