The Blue Moon

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The Blue Moon is a musical comedy in two acts credited to Howard Talbot (1865–1928)[1] and Paul Rubens (1875–1917)[2].

The original text

Set in India during the days of the British Raj, the play tells the story of a singing girl's love for a young British army officer. The book for stage play was originally written by Harold Ellis and revised by Alexander M. Thompson (1861–1948)[3], with music composed by Howard Talbot and Paul Rubens, and lyrics by Percy Greenbank (1878–1968)[4] and Rubens.

The play was originally staged in Northampton on 29 February 1904, using the original book by Harold Ellis, but since Ellis had died in the mean time, the book was revised by Alexander M. Thompson (credited as "A. M. Thompson") for the London production, which opened at the Lyric Theatre on 28 August 1905 to a mixed response. It went on to play in various parts of the Empire and in America.

The text was published in London by Chappell & Co., 1905.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1906: Performed at the end of the year in the Opera House, Cape Town by a "new Gaiety Company" headed by Frank Greeneand Maimie Brickwell


Claire Mabilat. 2017. Orientalism and Representations of Music in the Nineteenth-Century British Popular Arts. Routledge[5]

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: p. 426

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