The Philadelphia Story

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The Philadelphia Story is a comic play by Philip Barry (1896–1949)[1].

The original text

The play tells the story of a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and an attractive journalist. Barry wrote The Philadelphia Story in 1939 specifically with Katharine Hepburn in mind, .

Translations and adaptations

Filmed as The Philadelphia Story in 1940, written for the screen by Donald Ogden Stewart and an uncredited Waldo Salt, produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, directed by George Cukor, it featured Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Ruth Hussey.

In 1956 a musical film version called High Society was made by MGM, directed by Charles Walters, with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm, and Louis Armstrong.

Two musical stage versions called High Society have been done since, also based on Barry's play and the MGM film: The first[2] opened in London in 1987 with a book by Richard Eyre, while the second[3] on Broadway in 1998, with a book by Arthur Kopit and music and lyrics by Cole Porter and Susan Birkenhead.

Performance history in South Africa

1946: Performed by the Munro-Inglis Company, produced by Margaret Inglis in the Standard Theatre, 1946. The cast consisted of Doreen Hamshaw, Gordon Mulholland, Nan Munro, Will Jamieson, Frank Secker, Brigid Gibbings, Frank Wise. In the Alhambra Theatre in Cape Town the cast were Nan Munro, Joan Pritchard, Rayne Kruger, Will Jamieson, Brigid Gibbings, Frank Wise, Henry Gilbert, Gordon Mulholland, Doreen Hamshaw, with sets by Len Grossett. It was their last production in South Africa.


South African Opinion, 3(6):22, 1946; 3(11):21, 1947.

Trek, 11(7):18, 1946.

Brooke 1978. 142.

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