The Shaughraun

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The Shaughraun ("the wandering vagabond") is a melodrama by Dion Boucicault[1] (1820-1890).

Also known as Conn, the Shaughraun.

The original text

The play tells the story of Robert Ffolliott, a young Irish lad who - having been done out of his land and sent off to a penal colony in Australia following false accusations by his guardian, the land-agent Kinchella, escapes and returns to Ireland with the help of Conn the Shaughraun. There he is united with his sweetheart and, with the help of Conn, is pardoned and Kinchela is brought to justice.

It was first performed as The Shaughraun at Wallack's Theatre, New York, on 14 November 1874, with Boucicault playing Conn in the original production. The play was a huge success, making half a million dollars for Boucicault. It was performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in 1885.

Translations and adaptations

Filmed as an Australian silent film called Conn, the Shaughraun in 1912, directed by Gaston Mervale starring Louise Lovely. It is considered a lost film.

Performance history in South Africa

1877: Performed as The Shaughraun by the Disney Roebuck company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 18 August, with Ben Bolt (Johnstone).

1877: Performed by Disney Roebuck and his company at the Theatre Royal, in Cape Town on 29 October to 1 November, with The Rickards Combination as an afterpiece.

1878: Performed by Disney Roebuck and his company at the Theatre Royal, in Cape Town on 10-12 June , with songs by Miss Wynne]] and on the 12th the recital of a piece about the so called ninth "Kaffir War"[2] on the Eastern Cape Border, by Sutton Vane as an afterpiece.

1903: Performed by the Leonard Rayne company in the Opera House, Cape Town, as part of a season that extended from on 10 August till 23 October. Other plays in the company's repertoire were A Message from Mars, The Worst Woman in London (W. Melville), Her Second Time on Earth (Melville).

1910: Performed by the touring De Jong-Black Company as part of a successful season in the north, and appearing in the Opera House, Cape Town during October.

1914: Performed as Conn, the Shaughraun in Johannesburg by the Hoffman-King Company, with a cast including Hilda Attenboro.

1971: Presented as The Shaughraun by the University of Cape Town’s Speech and Drama Department at the Little Theatre in September, directed by Robert Armstrong, with Roshel Malbin as one of the cast members.


"The Shaughraun" in Wikipedia[3].

"Conn, the Shaughraun" in Wikipedia[,_the_Shaughraun

"Conn, the Shaughraun", IMDb[4]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 359, 362, 369, 417, 434.

New Zealand Herald, 16 October 1915

NZ Truth, 7 October 1916

Rand Daily Mail, 10 June 1919 Inskip, 1972. p.157.

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