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There are two interestingly related stage plays called Penelope.

Penelope by W. Somerset Maugham (1909)

The original text

A comedy in three acts written by W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)[1]. It was originally called Man and Wife and was first produced at the Comedy Theatre on Saturday, January 9, 1909, with a cast that included Marie Tempest and Graham Browne. It was later taken on tour by the Hutchinson Company, including performances at the Theatre Royal, Bath,on the 1st November 1909. The text was published by William Heinemann in the series The Plays of W.S. Maugham in 1912.

The play was very successful when it was first produced and simple story of the stratagems that Penelope employs to regain the love of her husband, who has been having an affair with an attractive married woman. True to her namesake (Oddyeus's faithful wife), Penelope's patient sacrifice is rewarded and the husband returned.

South African productions

1918: First performed in English by the American Dramatic Company at His Majesty's Theatre on 29 April 1918, with a cast that included Hilda Attenboro.

1918: Also performed by Marie Tempest touring company, with a cast that also included Hélène Vaubré, during her time in South Africa.


The Project Gutenberg EBook of Penelope, by W. Somerset Maugham[2]

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Penelope by Enda Walsh (2010)

The original text

Penelope is a tragicomedy written by Irish playwright Enda Walsh in 2010. It concerns the attempts of four men seeking to win over Penelope in the absence of her warrior husband, Odysseus, who has been away for the previous twenty years fighting the Trojan wars.

It was first performed at the Oberhausen Theater in 2010 by the Druid Theatre Company, Galway and published by Nick Hern Books, London, 2010.

South African productions

None noted to date.


Go to ESAT Bibliography

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