Sweet Nell of Old Drury

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Sweet Nell of Old Drury is a play by Paul Kester (1870-1933)[1]

The original text

A play about the relationship between Nell Gwynne and King Charles II. First performed on stage in 1900 in London and New York, with Julia Neilson making a name for herself as "Nell" in the United Kingdom. The Australian actress, Nellie Stewart (1858-1931)[2], also became a prominent "Nell", first appearing in the role in 1902, going on to perform it every once in a while until her death in 1931.

Translations and adaptations

Turned into an Australian silent film[3] in 1911, directed by Raymond Longford and starring Nellie Stewart.

Performance history in South Africa

1901: According to D.C. Boonzaier's reminiscences (1923) it was performed by the Sass and Nelson Company in the Opera House, Cape Town, as part of a season of plays that commenced on 11 May.




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.203-205

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