The Legend of St Croix

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The Legend of St Croix is am extravaganza by an unidentified author from Port Elizabeth.

The original text

Referred to as a "Spectacular Fairy Extravaganza by a Gentleman of Port Elizabeth", it was probably a fantasy piece, developed in Port Elizabeth and referring to the famous St Croix Island[1] off the coast there. (Today the island hosts the largest penguin colony in the world.)

A first version possibly performed in the harbour town of Port Elizabeth in 1866 or 1867, before being done in Cape Town by players returning from that town. The Cape Argus (28 February, 1867) referred to it as "a piece of very slight material, but...well got up, with capital scenery and dresses..." The designer referred to in this case was R.S. Cooper.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1867: Performed by "Le Roy's Original Company" in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 18 and 25 February, with Leah the Forsaken, or The Jewish Maiden's Wrongs (Mosenthal/Daly).

1867: Performed by "Le Roy's Original Company" in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 28 February, with The Weft of the Wish-ton-Wish (Anon.).


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 1932. (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.221

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