Le Mari à la Campagne
Le Mari à la Campagne is a French comedy in three acts by Jean-François Bayard (1796-1853) and Jules de Wailly (1806-1866).
The original text
First performed in Paris at the Comédie-Française on 3 June, 1844, and published in the Magasin Theatral in 1844.
Translations and adaptations
Freely translated into English as The Serious Family, a comedy in three acts, by Morris Barnett (1800-1856). The French source text is wrongly given as Un Mari en Campaigne in French's published English text.
First performed in English at The Haymarket Theatre, London, and Burton's Theatre, New York, in 1849. Published in New York by Samuel French in 1850 as No LXXIX of French's Standard Drama.
Performance history in South Africa
1862: Performed in English as The Serious Family by Sefton Parry and his company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 8 April, with Margaret Catchpole, or The Female Horse-stealer (Stirling), in a "Farewell Benefit for Mrs Tellett, under the Patronage of Lt.-Govr. & Mrs. Wynyard". (F.C.L. Bosman, 1980: p 112, wrongly has the translator as "Barrett")
1862: Performed in English as The Serious Family by Sefton Parry and his company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 30 April, as part of a benefit evening for Sefton Parry, presented under the patronage of Mr Duprat and the Officers of the Volunteers. Also performed were as Sudden Thoughts, or He Would Be a Gentleman (Wilks), and voluntary presentations by members of Franklin's Circus (a "Highland Dance" by Miss M. Stevens, Mrs Stevens and her two sons in their "Drawingroom Entertainment").
1874: Performed as The Serious Family on 28 January in the Mutual Hall, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company, with The Loan of a Lover (Planché).
1874: Performed as The Serious Family on 2 February in the Mutual Hall, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company, with A Phenomenon in a Smock Frock (Planché).
1875: Performed by Disney Roebuck and his company in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town, on 17 April, with The Pilgrim of Love (Byron).
1877: Performed as The Serious Family by Disney Roebuck and his company in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, on 2 August, with Brown and the Brahmins (Reece).
1878: Performed as The Serious Family by Disney Roebuck and his company on 22 June in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town. Also performed were Cox and Box, or The Long-Lost Brothers, a "musical Triumviretta in one act by Arthur Sullivan", conducted by Signor Maggi, and a poem - "The Wreck of the Eurydice" - by Sutton Vane, written expressly for the occasion.
Facsimile version of the French text of 1844, Gallica BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France)
Facsimile version of the Samuel French text, The Internet Archive
F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 112, 115, 174, 311-315, 323, 332, 338, 359, 370.
William Groom. 1899-1900. Drama in Cape Town. Cape Illustrated Magazine, 10(4): 478-481, 517-520, 547-552, 580-584, 640-643, 670-672, 706-708.
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