Speed the Plough is a comedy, in five acts by Thomas Morton (1764-1838).
Not to be confused with Speed-the-Plow, a 1988 play by David Mamet
The original text
First performed at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden on 8 Feb. 1798, it was acted forty-one times, and often revived.
The play introduced the fictional (off-stage) English character of "Mrs Grundy", who typifies the censorship enacted in everyday life by conventional opinion. The term soon passed into everyday English speech as a criterion of rigid respectability, especially in contexts in which free expression is impeded by excessive purity.
Performance history in South Africa
1812: Performed in Cape Town on 6 July by the Garrison Players in the African Theatre, with The Irishman in London (Macready), with Lt Prescott and Lt Hanson listed as Directors for the evening.
1815: Performed in Cape Town on 23 September by the English Theatricals company (former Garrison Players) in the African Theatre, with The Prize, or 2,5,3,8, (Hoare).
1818: Performed in Cape Town on 7 February by the English Theatricals company (former Garrison Players) in the African Theatre , with The Spoiled Child (Bickerstaffe).
1822: Performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town, on 2 November by the Garrison Players with the "burletta" of Tom Thumb (Fielding) as afterpiece.
1822: Performed in Cape Town on 7 December by the Amateur Company company (Garrison Players) in the African Theatre, with The Soldier's Daughter (Cherry) and Fortune's Frolic (Allingham) as afterpiece.
1826: Performed in Cape Town on 2 September by the (Garrison Players) in the African Theatre, with Sharp and Flat (Lawler), as a benefit for Mrs Johnson.
1827: Performed in Cape Town in May by the (Garrison Amateur Company) in the African Theatre, with the musical farce Love Laughs at Locksmiths (Colman Jr).
Translations and adaptations
F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. : pp. 143, 147, 153, 189, 191
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