The Anatomist, or The Sham Doctor

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The Anatomist, or The Sham Doctor is a farce in two acts by Edward Ravenscroft (1654?-1707)[1].

Sometimes listed simply as The Anatomist.

The original text

Originally a 3 act play, it was later condensed into this popular farce. According to L.M. Vincent (2005) it was based on Noël Le Breton de Hauteroche's 3 act French comedy Crispin Médecin and was first produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields in November of 1696. The play apparently was a stock afterpiece throughout the second half of the eighteenth century. It was first published in London by R Baldwin in 1697, and a number of times subsequently.

Production history in South Africa

1815: Performed by the Garrison Players in the African Theatre on 18 August as an afterpiece to John Bull or The Englishman's Fireside (George Colman the Younger) in Cape Town. The evening was a charity event under the patronage of the Governor, and also intended to incite patriotism in the colony.

1817: Performed by the Garrison Players in the African Theatre on 30 August 1817, with The Mountaineers (George Colman the Younger).


Facsimile version of Crispin Médecin, Google E-book[2]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [3]: pp. 147, 150

L.M. Vincent "The Anatomist by Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827): The Play's the Thing". In Medical History, Vol 49(2) 2005 pp: 213–218.

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