The Padlock

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The Padlock is a two-act "afterpiece" opera by Isaac Bickerstaffe (1733 – 1812?)[1] (the text) and Charles Dibdin (1745-1814)[2] (composer).

In some sources (e.g. Wikipedia) the main author is given as the composer, Dibden, according to musical custom.

The original text

The play was based on the short story by Miguel de Cervantes called El Celoso extremeño (usually translated into English as The Jealous Husband). The story was published in 1613.

The play made its debut in 1768 at the Drury Lane Theatre in London, England, with Dibdin playing the character "Mungo". It was first published in 1768 by W. Griffin.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1807: Was planned for performance as afterpiece to She Stoops to Conquer (Goldsmith) by the Officers of the Garrison on 29 August, but was replaced by Love à la Mode (Macklin) because all the music could not be obtained.

1808: Performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the Officers of the Garrison on Saturday 16 July, with All the World's a Stage (Jackman), as a Benefit Performance for the Widows and Orphans of the 24th Regiment.

1808: Performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the Officers of the Garrison on 12 September, with The Poor Gentleman (Colman). Among the performers was a certain Billy Pitt.

1815: Performed by Mr Cuerton and his company, in association with the Garrison Players, in the African Theatre, Cape Town, on 27 May, with a "Ballet" entitled The Shipwreck (attributed to Brandes).


Facsimile text of 1770 edition (with commentary), Google E-book[3]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 75, 76, 77, 146

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