Niobe, All Smiles

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Niobe, All Smiles is a farcical comedy in three acts by Harry Paulton (1841-1917)[1] and Edward A. Paulton (1866-1939)[2].

Also listed as Niobe (All Smiles) or simply Niobe.

The original text

The play tells of the statue of Niobe that comes to life through the dream of a hen-pecked old man.

First performed in the Prince of Wales Theatre, Liverpool on 1 September, 1890 and in London at the Strand Theatre on 16 April, 1892. Published by Samuel French in 1904.

Translations and adaptations

In 1915 an American comedy silent film called Niobe was based on the play, with a script by the authors and directed by Hugh Ford and Edwin S. Porter.

Performance history in South Africa

1893: Performed as Niobe in the Vaudeville Theatre, Cape Town, by the Emilie Bevan Comedy Company as part of a short season.

1893: Performed as Niobe in the Vaudeville Theatre, Cape Town, by the Wheeler Company as well.

1909: Produced by Leonard Rayne and his company, featuring Lionel B. Stent, among others. It was part of their repertoire of four plays, opening at the Standard Theatre, Johannesburg, and then touring the various cities, including a performances at the Opera House, Cape Town, in October.


Facsimile version of the 1904 published text, The Project Gutenberg eBook[3]

Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Late 19th Century Drama 1850-1900 Cambridge University Press: p.516[4]

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.395, 431

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