The Christian

Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Christian is a play in four acts by Hal Caine (1853–1931)[1]

The original text

A dramatization by the author of his own novel (The Christian), telling the story of Glory Quayle, a young woman living an independent life during the late 19th century, who becomes an actress, and John Storm, who enters the priesthood. The novel was serialised in the Windsor Magazine December 1896- November 1897 and published in book form by Heinemann, 1897.

Caine dramatized the novel in 1896 and it was first performed in London and the USA in that period, directed by Cain himself. The play was so popular with the public that the Daily Mail published the play text in 1897.

First produced in the USA by Viola Allen at Albany, New York on 25 September 1898, it opened in New York at the Knickerbocker Theatre on 10 October 1898. It was subsequently produced in England at the Duke of York's Theatre in October 1899.

A new version, rewritten by the author, was first performed in the Lyceum Theatre, London on August 31, 1907 and the amended text was published in London by Collier in 1907 as the "Lyceum Edition".

Translations and adaptations

An unauthorized film was made in 1911 by West's Pictures in Australia and the first authorized edition was made by the Vitagraph Liebler Company in the USA in 1914, followed by a version by the London Film Company(1915)

Performance history in South Africa

1909: Performed in the Opera House , Cape Town, by Leonard Rayne and company during October, featuring Gwynne Herbert.


Facsimile version of the 1907 Lyceum text, The Internet Archive[2]

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. 408, 431

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