The Wedding Day

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There are two 18th century plays by this title.

The Wedding Day by Henry Fielding

A comedy in five acts.

The original text

Though already written (at least in draft form) when Fielding returned to London from the University of Leyden towards the end of 1729, it was not initially accepted for the stage, and was only produced by David Garrick at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1743- though not apparently to great success.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1823: F.C.L. Bosman (1928: p.197) does mention a performance of an afterpiece called The Wedding Day in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the English Theatricals on 14 June 1823, suggesting it may have been by either Fielding or Inchbald. However, this is unlikely to have been this five-act play. Most probably it was the shorter, two act, comedy by Mrs Inchbald (see below).


Facsimile of original published text, in The Works of Henry Fielding, with a Life of the Author: Plays (Google eBook)[1]

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The Wedding Day by Elizabeth Inchbald (1753-1821)[2]

A comedy in two acts.

The original text

First performed on 1 Nov 1794 at Drury Lane and published in 1794, printed for G. G. and J. Robinson [etc.] in London.

Translations and adaptations

Freely translated into Dutch as De Eerste Bruidsdag ("The first wedding day"), a comedy in two acts by Joost Hendrik Burlage (1803-1876)[3]. The text published in Amsterdam by M. Westerman en Zoon and C. van Hulst in 1834.

Performance history in South Africa

1823: Produced in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the English Theatricals on 14 June 1823, as a benefit performance for a widow with 5 children, alongside The Midnight Hour (Dumaniant/Inchbald).

1823: Possibly produced again in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the English Theatricals on 21 June , when a repeat of The Midnight Hour (Dumaniant/Inchbald) was offered for those who had missed the earlier production due to the bad weather, and now with the addition of The King and the Miller of Mansfield (Dodsley).

1878: Performed in Dutch as De Eerste Bruidsdag in the Oddfellows Hall, Cape Town by the Rederijkerskamer De Eendracht on 21 and 28 November and 11 December, as afterpiece to the tragedy Elfride (Bertruch). Interestingly, F.C.L. Bosman (1980, p. 450) in this case mistakenly ascribes the source of the afterpiece to August von Kotzebue rather than to Mrs Inchbald - possibly confusing this with Von Kotzebue's 1812 4-act comedy Die Belagerung Von Saragossa, Oder Pachter Feldkummels Hochzeitstag.


Inchbald, Elizabeth. The Wedding Day. Eds. Thomas C. Crochunis and Susan Hyon. British Women Playwrights around 1800. 15 June 2003.[4]

Facsimile version of the second edition of De Eerste Bruidsdag, Google Play[5]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [6]: pp. 197,

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 450,

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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