Le Juif Polonais

From ESAT
(Redirected from The Bells)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Le Juif Polonais ("The Polish Jew") is a play in three acts by Erckmann-Chatrian (Émile Erckmann, 1822–1899 and Alexandre Chatrian, 1826–1890)[1]

The original text

First performed in French at the théâtre de Cluny in Paris in 1869, with a score by Etienne Singla. in 1867

Translations and adaptations

The play saw a large number of translations, adaptations, travesties and imitations over the years under various titles - the first apparently an early translation by Frank C. Burnand.

However, the best known English version has perhaps been the English translation by Leopold Davis Lewis (1828-1890) called The Bells. First performed at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on November 25, 1871, starring Sir Henry Irving as "Mathias", it would long be an Irving standard play, and was almost immediately followed by more versions.

Other English titles found are Paul Zegers, or The Dream of Retribution (Anon., 1871), The Polish Jew, or The Sledge Bells (J. Redding Ware, 1872), The Polish Jew (S. Emery, 1872), and so on. (For more on the various versions, see the Henry Irving and The Bells: Irving's Personal Script of the Play by Leopold Lewis, as edited by David Mayer, Manchester University Press, 1980)


The Erckmann-Chatrian play was adapted into an opera of the same name by Camille Erlanger, composed to a libretto by Henri Cain and first performed in Paris at the Opéra Comique on 11 April 1900.

The play was later filmed a number of times, usually as The Bells, including an Australian film in 1911, a Belgian film in 1925 (as Le Juif Polonais, an American film in 1928, a British film in 1931, and another Australian film in 1935 (this time as The Burgomeister).

Performance history in South Africa

The play is notable in South Africa as the play that launched the South African theatrical careers of two notable businessmen, who also happened to be pugelists and performers: Barney Barnato and Harry Stodel.

1877: Performed in English by Disney Roebuck and company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, as The Bells, or The Murder of the Polish Jew (ascribed to Lewis) on 28 July, with a burlesque of Black Ey'd Susan (Burnand)

1877: Performed in English again by Disney Roebuck and company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 22 and 23 August, with a burlesque of Black Ey'd Susan (Burnand)

1878: Performed in English by former players of the Disney Roebuck company and the Dramatic Recital Society, in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 1 August, as a benefit evening for victims of a storm in Table Bay, under the auspices of the Governor and the Cape parliament, army and navy.

1878: Performed in English by the Dramatic Recital Society, in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 19 September, as a benefit evening for the cartoonist and amateur player Hugh Fisher, with A Happy Pair (Smith), A Rough Diamond (Buckstone).

1884-5: Performed by the Henry Harper Company in the new Theatre Royal, Cape Town, as part of Henry Harper's first season as lessee and manager of the venue.

1896(?): Performed in English as The Bells by the De Jongh and Haviland company in the Opera House, Cape Town, with Frank de Jongh playing "Matthias".

18**: Performed in English as The Bells in Kimberley with Barney Barnato playing "Matthias".

1890: Performed in English as The Bells at Rowley's Music Hall, Johannesburg, August 1890, with Harry Stodel as "Matthias".

1900: Performed in English as The Bells at the Port Elizabeth Opera House, December 7, 1900, produced by William Haviland of the Haviland and Lawrence Shakesperian & Dramatic Company. Cast: William Haviland (Mathias), Gerald Lawrence (Christian), and Amy Coleridge (Annette), Murray Hathorn (Walter), Mr Brereton (Hans), Miss Aicken (Catherine), Mr Haviland (The Judge of the Mesmerist [Notary?]).

1906: Performed in English as The Bells in the Opera House, Cape Town, with William Haviland as one of the performers.

1945: Act III of The Bells performed in English by the Sonderwater Dramatic Society as their entry in the 1945 FATSSA Play Festival, directed by Captain J.M. Eloff.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Juif_Polonais

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erckmann-Chatrian

https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Le+Juif+Polonais

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bells_(play)

David Mayer (Ed.). 1980. Henry Irving and The Bells: Irving's Personal Script of the Play by Leopold , Manchester University Press[2]

Trek, 10(8):23, 1945.

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 1923. (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. 358, 359, 371, 372, 405, 425.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page