The Old Guard

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The Old Guard is a one-act play by Dion Boucicault (1820-1890)[1].

Not to be confused with the play One of the Old Guard (1914) by Constance Campbell

The original text

Originally known as Napoleon's Old Guard, it was Boucault's first play, written when he was still at school and performed by Boucicault's school fellows at Brentford Collegiate School, London, in 1836. Later revised and renamed The Old Guard, it was professionally performed on January 30, 1840, at the Theatre Royal, Brighton and then played at the Princess's theatre, London in 1844, before opening in the USA at the Chatham Theatre on Friday, August 1, 1845.

Published by in Dicks' Standard Plays , ca. 1845, and by Samuel French, 1848.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1893: Performed as The Old Guard in the Opera House Cape Town by the Lyric Opera Company, as part of their repertoire while touring the country.


Facsimile version of the 1848 Samuel French edition, Hathi Trust Digital Library[2]

Richard Fawkes. 2011. Dion Boucicault. Ardent Media: pp. 21-22[3]

Dion Boucicault Collections, University of Kent Library [4]

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: pp.203-205

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