The Sleeping Draught

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The Sleeping Draught is an English farce in two acts by Samson Penley.

(Referred to as a one-act farce in some sources.)

The original text

Based on a story by Giovanni Boccaccio, it was first performed (possibly in a one act version) in London at the Theatre Royal, Drury-Lane on 1 April 1818, and published - as a two act farce - in London by Richard White and T. Searle in 1818 and Baltimore by J. Robinson, in the same year.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1823: Performed by the group called the English Theatricals in Cape Town on 20 September, as afterpiece to Douglas (Home).

1832: Performed by All the World's a Stage in Cape Town on 30 January, along with The Iron Chest, or The Blood-Stained Knife (Colman) and The Lawyer in the Sack, or Jack's Return!!! (a "ballet with dancing").

1833: Performed as The Sleeping Draught, or A Calf to be Killed!!! by All the World's a Stage in Cape Town on 30 March, as afterpiece to Bertram, or The Castle of St. Aldobrand (Maturin).


Facsimile version of the 1818 edition, Google E-book[1]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: pp.197, 222, 225

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