The School Girl

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The School Girl is a musical comedy, in two acts, by Leslie Stuart (1863-1928)[1], Henry Hamilton (1854-1918)[2] and Paul M. Potter (1853-1921)[3].

A play entitled The School Girl (said to be a "comic opera" and performed in Cape Town) is attributed to "G. Manchester and A. Maurice" by F.C.L. Bosman (1980: p.416, footnote 245). This appears to be a strange error by Bosman or his source, (D.C. Boonzaier), unless the play had been pirated and was being passed off purposely as another work by the performing company.

The original text

The piece tells of a French school girl from a convent, who goes to Paris to help her lovesick friend. Through mistaken identity, she learns secrets that help her at the Paris stock exchange and ends up at a students' ball in the Latin Quarter.

Written as an Edwardian musical comedy, in two acts, composed by Leslie Stuart, with additional songs by Paul Rubens (1875-1917)[4]. The book written by Hamilton and Potter, with lyrics by Charles H. Taylor (1859-1907)[5] and others.

First produced in 1903 by George Edwardes and Charles Frohman at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, running for 333 performances, and then became a success on Broadway in 1904.

Published by Francis, Day & Hunter, London, in 1902 (attributed to Stuart) and by Kessinger Publishing in the USA in 1903 (attributed to Hamilton)

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1903: Performed as part of the repertoire of a musical company performing under the auspices of the Wheeler Brothers in the Good Hope Theatre, Cape Town, from August onwards. Among the cast members were Myles Clifton, Victor Gouriet, Maud Marsland and Gertie Lester. The play attributed to "G. Manchester and A. Maurice" by F.C.L. Bosman (1980).


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.416

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