Nemesis! Or Not Wisely but Too Well is a burlesque by H.B. (Henry Brougham) Farnie (1836-1889)
Also described found as an "opéra bouffe" or "Musical Extravaganza in Five Tableaux" , and the title is often written as Nemesis, or Not Wisely but Too Well
Not to be confused with Nemesis, a South African play by Mario Schiess ()
The original text
Farnie's piece of musical froth was possibly inspired by or written in response to the scandalously popular sensation novel Not Wisely, but Too Well by Rhoda Broughton (1840-1920) (published in Leipzig by B. Tauchnitz in 1867) , which - according to Bolton (2000) - had apparently originally been dramatized by a W. Frith (as Not Wisely but Too Well) circa 1868, though it was never performed. (Bolton does not mention Farnie's piece.)
Farnie's Nemesis! Or Not Wisely but Too Well was first produced in the Royal Strand Theatre, London, on 17 April, 1873.
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1876: Performed on its own as Nemesis, or Not Wisely but Too Well in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 7, 14, 25 and 27 October, and as the matinee presentation on 4 November. The production featured dances and songs by William Elton and Louise Balfe.
1876: Performed with The Momentous Question (Fitzball) in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 10 October,
1876: Performed with The Corsican Brothers (Boucicault) in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 12 October.
1876: Performed with an unnamed "Comic Drama" in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 24 October.
1876: Performed with The Ticket-of-Leave Man (Boucicault) in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 28 October.
1878: Performed as Nemesis, or Not Wisely but Too Well in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 29 June, with Jessy Vere, or The Return of the Wanderer (Hazlewood).
Facsimile version of the opening night programme, 17 April, 1873, The Internet Archive
H. Philip Bolton. 2000. Women Writers Dramatized: A Calendar of Performances from Narrative Works Published in English to 1900, A&C Black: p. 98
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.343, 347-352, 372
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