The Turned Head

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The Turned Head is a farce in one act by Gilbert Abbott à Beckett (1811-1856)[1].

The original text

First performed in the Victoria Theatre, London on 3 November, 1834. Also done at the Strand Theatre London and the National Theatre Boston (in 1839). Published in London in Cumberland Minor Drama, vol. xiii; Dicks as No 338 and Lacy no LXVII, and in Boston as no 101 in Spencers Boston Theatre.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1863: Performed by Thomas Brazier and a company of amateurs in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 24 October, as an afterpiece to Still Waters Run Deep (Taylor).

1866: Performed by the Le Roy-Duret Company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 16 July, in a composite programme that also included what appears to have been billed as "the third and fourth acts" of Lucretia Borgia (Buckingham), the "balcony scene" from Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) and the last act of Fazio (Milman).

1867: Performed in Mr Ferguson's Saloon, in the Swiss Hotel, Plein Street, Cape Town, by the Young Men's Dramatic Company on 29th June, with Love in Humble Life (Scribe and Dupin).


Facsimile version of the Spencer edition, Hathi Trust Digital Library[2]

Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900, Volume 4: p249[3]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 190, 211, 271

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