Le Truc d' Arthur
The original text
The French play is based on and/or a modernised version of Marivaux's three-act comedy Le Jeu de l'Amour et du Hasard (first performed in 1730, and known in English as The Game of Love and Chance), and tells of an amorous state official who changes places with his valet to enter the service of a dashing widow, whom he admires, and to avoid an engagement to the daughter of a vulgar tanner, who turns out to be the widow's landlord. Her maid had once been deserted by the valet and the widow is herself is engaged to a Russian count.
First performed in Paris at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal 14 October, 1882.
The French text was also published by P.V. Stock, as Volume 9 of Auteurs dramatiques, in 1908.
Translations and adaptations
Le Truc d' Arthur was adapted into English as Gloriana (after the English name for the widow), "a light comedy in three acts" by James Mortimer (1833-1911). Mortimer's version is set in England and the characters appropriately Anglicised in accordance with this. First performed (as Gloriana) at the Globe Theatre, London, on 10 November 1891 and in New York on 15 February 15, 1892. The title was later changed to My Artful Valet in other productions.
Performance history in South Africa
The Theatre, Volume 28
J.P. Wearing. 2013. The London Stage 1890-1899: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. Scarecrow Press: p. 92.
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