The Frozen Deep

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The Frozen Deep is a three act play by Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)[1]

The original text

Based on the ill-fated 1845 Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage, The Frozen Deep is a 3 act play written in 1856 by Wilkie Collins under the substantial guidance of Charles Dickens, who conceived, cast and revised the work originally. It was first staged as an amateur theatrical production in original staging in Dickens's home Tavistock House in January 1857, with Collins as actor and Dickens heavily involved as actor and stage manager. It later had professional performances as well. Privately published as The Frozen Deep. A Drama in Three Acts only in 1866.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted as a four act play called Adrift by Sutton Vane Sr (18??-18??).

Performance history in South Africa

1878: Performed as Adrift by Disney Roebuck’s company at the Theatre Royal on 6, 7 and 11 March, accompanied by "a new ballet" performed by The Kickapoos (Mr Wilmore, Mr Leonard and Mr Pine).


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p. 366.

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