Le Bandit

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Le Bandit is a French musical play in two acts ("pièce en 2 actes mêlée de chants") by Emmanuel Théaulon, (1787-1841)[1], Charles Nombret Saint-Laurent, (1790??-1833)[2] and Théodore Anne, (1797-1869) [3].

The original text

First performed in French at the Théatre de Nouveautés in Paris on 12 September, 1829 and published in Paris by R.Riga in the same year.

Translations and adaptations

Translated and adapted into English as a melodrama called The Brigand (or The Brigand Chief in some cases) by James Robinson Planché (1796–1880)[4]. Called is "a romantic drama in two acts" it was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on 18 November 1829, two months after Le Bandit had appeared on the Paris stage. Most assurely published in the same year, as was Planché's usaual practice, though the only published versions found are dubiously dated, e.g. G.H. Davidson (185*?) and S. French (1880/1?).

A "narrativized play", written by Thomas Peckett Prest (1810-1859)and entitled The Brigand, or The Mountain Chief was published in London by E. Lloyd, in 1851. It is cited by Marie Léger-St-Jean as based on Planché's play as performed Drury Lane Theatre (London), 18 November, 1829 (She gives the title as The Brigand Chief.)

Performance history in South Africa

1846: Performed in English as The Brigand, most probably by All the World's a Stage, on Thursday 9 July. It was the opening production in the newly re-opened Hope Street Theatre, now known as the Victoria Theatre, and was followed by A Day after the Fair (Somerset).

1846: The Brigand performed on Saturday 4 September , most probably by All the World's a Stage, in the Victoria Theatre, followed by The Original (Morton) and The Lottery Ticket, or the Lawyer's Clerk (Beazley).

1846: The Brigand performed on special request on Saturday 12 September, during the annual Race Week, again probably by All the World's a Stage and in the Victoria Theatre. It followed on Who's Who? or The Double Imposture (Poole).

1866: Performed in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, by the 9th Regiment's dramatic company on 18 December, as part of a "Dramatic and Musical Entertainment under the Patronage of Col. Ellis and the Officers of the Regiment". Also performed was an "operatic selection".


F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [5]: pp. 415

Facsimile version of the 1829 French text, BnF Gallica[6]




Martin Meisel. 2014. Realizations: Narrative, Pictorial, and Theatrical Arts in Nineteenth-Century England. Princeton University Press: p. 111[7]

Léger-St-Jean, Marie. Price One Penny: A Database of Cheap Literature, 1837-1860. [18 June 2015]. Faculty of English, Cambridge [24 November 2016] (http://priceonepenny.info).

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