The Drummer, or The Haunted House

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The Drummer, or The Haunted House is a comedy by Joseph Addison (1672-1719)[1].

Often simply referred to as The Drummer.

The original text

Written much earlier, it was finally published in London by Jacob Tonson, 1715, through the encouragement of Richard Steele. First acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane, by His Majesty's servants.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted into French in 1737 as Le Tambour Nocturne, ou Le Mari Devin, by Philippe Néricault Destouches (1680-1754)[2] as a 5 act play, referred to as a Comédie Angloise. This was done in admiring imitation of the English style (Jonson, Dryden, Congreve, et al) and Destouches refers to Addison's play as "The Drumer, ou Le Tambour" in his 1737 Preface to the published text.

Though first published in La Haye in 1737 by Antoine van Dool, the Destouches play was only performed for the first time on 16 October 1762 at the Théâtre Français.

The French version is also referred to as Le Tambour Nocturne at times.

Performance history in South Africa

1809: Performed in Destousches's French version as Le Tambour Nocturne, ou Le Mari Devin in the African Theatre, Cape Town on 11 March by the French Amateur Company. Now referred to as a play in four acts, it was followed by Florian's Les Jumeaux de Bergame.


Facsimile version of the 1771 edition of the text, Hathi Trust, Google e-book[3]

Facsimile version of the 1737 edition of the text, with Preface. Google e-book[4]

Text of The Drummer, or The Haunted House, ECCO TCP: Eighteenth Century Texts[5]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [6]: pp. 125, 171

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