Municipal Muddles, or Love in the Dark

(Redirected from Municipal Muddles)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Municipal Muddles, or Love in the Dark is a comedy in three acts by Charles Utting (1818-1898)[1].

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.

1867: Performed again by "Le Roy's Original Company" in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 28 March and 1 April, this time with A Terrible Secret (Waldron) and My Wife's Second Floor (Morton).


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: pp.221-225, 295.

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

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page