Sayings and Doings, or The Rule of Contrary

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Sayings and Doings, or The Rule of Contrary is a farce in one act by John Maddison Morton (1811-1891)[1]

Often found simply as Sayings and Doings.

The original text

Possibly a dramatization by Morton of the story The Man of Many Friends by Theodore Edward Hook (1788-1841)[2], from volume two of his collection of stories entitled Sayings and Doings (1838). Morton took the title of the play from the collection of stories, but Hook admits Morton might have obtained the plot for his play directly from the Jour á Paris, from which Hook himself had drawn the idea.

First performed in London at Covent Garden on the 18th of April, 1839, and first published in the same year by Chapman and Hall.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1867: Performed as the "fashionable farce" Sayings and Doings on 19 March by the 9th Regiment in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, as part of a "Grand Fashionable Night", along with comic song by H.F. Simmonds and Othello in Ireland "by special request".


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p. 259

Theodore Edward Hook. 1838. Sayings and Doings Second Volume. London: Colburn.[3]

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