The Second Mrs Tanqueray

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The Second Mrs Tanqueray is a play by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1935)[1].

The original text

In this play a woman with a past finds that her now grown daughter has fallen in love with her own former lover. Suicide brings the plot to its conclusion.

First produced by George Alexander in 1893 it became an enormous and enduring hit , despite the shock of the theme to the sentiments of audiences. Revived numerous times over the course of the 20th century.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

Performance history in South Africa

1895: Performed by Edward Sass and his Gaiety Company in the Cape Town Opera House, under the auspices of the Wheeler Brothers, as part of a season of plays that opened on 1 June till late July.

1904: Performed as part of a repertoire of three plays done on a tour of the cities by Mrs and Mr Robert Brough and their company under the Wheeler Company management. In Cape Town they appeared at the Good Hope Theatre, opening their short season with this play on 26 February.

1929: Presented by the Dramatic Section of the Jewish Guild (Johannesburg), produced by Anita Colman and Maurice H. Mendelsohn in March 1929. With Ivan Schröder, Maurice Horwitz, Robert Stromin, Theodore Sachs, Alec Witkin, Anita Colman, Bertha Grevler, Gertrude Wade, Rhoda Fridjhon, Wilfred H. Patley, Campbell Singer.

1961: Performed in Durban, directed by Peter Craig.


World Drama, by Allardyce Nicoll. Harrap, 1949.

Footlights, 1(3):14. 1929.

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

Biography of Peter Curtis submitted to ESAT by Craig Curtis in September 2023.

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