The Area Belle

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The Area Belle is a popular farce in one act by William Brough (1826-1870)[1] and Andrew Halliday (1830-1877)[2].

The original text

First performed in London at the Theatre Royal, Adelphi on 7 March 1864 and published by T.H. Lacy in London, and Samuel French (in London and New York).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1865: Performed in the Theatre Royal on 23 and 26 October by Ray and Cooper, with the help of local "Gentlemen Amateurs", as an afterpiece to Jessy Vere, or The Return of the Wanderer (Hazlewood).

1866: Performed in the Theatre Royal by the Le Roy and Duret Company on 23 April, as an afterpiece to The Stranger (Von Kotzebue)

1866: Performed on 18 September by the 9th Regiment's dramatic company in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, with The Nervous Cures (a "Popular Dance-Song") and Bombastes Furioso (Rhodes).

1867: Performed in the Theatre Royal by Madame Duret and the Le Roy-Duret Company on 17 September with The Isle of St. Tropez (Williams and Burnand) and Box and Cox (Morton). This performance was part of a special event put on in recognition of the Duke of Edinburgh's second visit to the Cape Colony. This occasion is marked by the guest appearances by three members of the Duke's entourage, namely the Hon E.C. Yorke, Lord Newry and Mr FitzGeorge.

1867: Performed in the Theatre Royal by the Garrison Players on 19 October, with The Syren of Paris (Suter).

1870: Performed in the New Lyceum Theatre in July by the Amateur Coloured Troupe with The Mischievous Nigger (White), aided by J. Ryan and the 86th Royal Downshire Minstrels.

1874: Performed under the protection of the Free Masons in the Mutual Hall on 6 March by Disney Roebuck and his company, presented, with Caste (Robertson), as a benefit for Roebuck.

1874: Repeated in the Mutual Hall on 7 March by Disney Roebuck and his company, this time with The Ticket-of-Leave Man (Taylor).

1875: Performed in the Bijou Theatre on 17 July by Disney Roebuck and his company, with Faust and Marguerite (Carré and Goethe/Robertson).

1878: Performed in the Theatre Royal on 30 January by Disney Roebuck and his company, with The Flying Scud, or A Four-legged Fortune (Boucicault). The latter play featured "real horses".

1878: Performed for a "Grand Gala Night" in the Good Hope Gardens, Cape Town, by Captain Disney Roebuck's company on 1 February, with Little Toddlekins, or The 48-Pounder (Mathews). The evening included a musical concert.


Facsimile version of the Samuel French edition, HathiTrust Digital Library[3]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.191, 203, 210, 227, 257, 260, 280, 312, 325, 365

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