Défiance et Malice, ou le Prêté-rendu

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Défiance et Malice, ou le Prêté-rendu ("mistrust and malice, or the loan") is a one act French comedy in verse, by Michel Dieulafoy (1762-1823)[1].

Also found simply as Defiance et Malice.

The original text

A comedy with only two characters, about two lovers who disguise themselves to test each other's affections, it was met with much success. Originally performed by Saint-Fal and Joséphine Mézeray, it premiered at the Théâtre Français de la République in September of 1801 and was first published in Paris by Barba in 1802.

Translations and adaptations

Doubt and Conviction (1804)

First adapted into English as an afterpiece in one act called Doubt and Conviction by James Wild (possibly the prompter, actor and playwright, born 1749; died 1801)[2]. The play was apparently never acted, but the text was published in London by J. Hayes, 1804.

Personation, or Fairly Taken In

The play was then adapted as Personation, or Fairly Taken In, and styled a comic interlude in one act, by Maria Theresa Kemble (Marie Thérèse Du Camp, 1774–1838)[3]. It is very often (wrongly) cited as an original piece by Mrs Kemble, though some editions do mention that it had been "taken from the French"). First performed under this title at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 29 April, 1805, with the Mrs Kemble herself as "Lady Julia".

The Kemble version was published a number of times, i.a. by Samuel French, in The Minor Drama series no CXX, in 1860 and by John Dicks (748 Dicks' Standard Plays, one volume with Antony and Cleopatra, Married and Settled by Charles Selby) in 1886.

Performance history in South Africa

1868-69: The English version (Personation, or Fairly Taken In) was probably performed in as part of their repertoire by the W.J.S. Bennee and Fanny Raynor (his wife), while on a 15 month tour of towns in the Eastern Cape and the Orange Free State.

1869: Personation, or Fairly Taken In (described as "a comic interlude...after the French of Marie Decamp") was definitely done as part of a farewell benefit for The Bennees in Cape Town, in association with local amateurs and under the auspices of the Governor and the Freemasons on 31 May, 1869. Also performed were Hamlet (Shakespeare) and How to Win a Widow (Allingham?).




Catalogue entry, National Library of Australia (Bib ID: 66592182)[4]

Catalogue entry, National Library of Australia (Bib ID: 2548029)[5]

The Monthly Mirror, Vol. XIX, 1805: p. 346[6]

Facsimile version of the 1860 edition by Samuel French, Google E-book[7]

Facsimile version of the 1886 version by Dicks, Warwick Digital Collections[8]

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: p.241,

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