The Matchmaker

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A comedy by Thornton Wilder. Based on a 1835 one-act play by John Oxenford, A Day Well Spent, which after expansion, translation, and rewriting, formed the basis of Wilder's play.

The play was a success at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London's West End before finally opening on Broadway on December 5, 1955 at the Royale Theatre, later transferring to the Booth to complete its run of 486 performances. Ruth Gordon's performance in the title role earned her a Tony Award nomination as Best Actress; Guthrie won as Best Director. In 1958 a film version was produced. In 1964, the play enjoyed yet another incarnation when David Merrick, who had produced the 1955 Broadway production, mounted a hugely successful, Tony Award-winning musical version entitled Hello, Dolly!.

Performance history in South Africa

In South Africa the play was produced by the Cockpit Players at the Hofmeyr Theatre, November 1958, directed by Leonard Schach, starring Marjorie Gordon as Dolly Levi, John McKelvey, Nigel Hawthorne, Michael McGovern, Robert Haber, Walter Glennie, Christina Greig, Raymond Williams, Zoë Randall and Heather Lloyd-Jones.

Translations and adaptations


Inskip, 1977. p 122

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