What Every Woman Knows

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What Every Woman Knows is a four-act play written by Scottish dramatist J.M. Barrie [1] (1860-1937).

The original text

Written before women's suffrage, the play posits that "every woman knows" she is the invisible power responsible for the successes of the men in her life.

It was first presented by impresario Charles Frohman at the Duke of York's Theatre in London on 3 September 1908. It ran for 384 performances, transferring to the Hicks Theatre between 21 December 1908 and 15 February 1909.

The play was first produced in America, also by Frohman, in 1908 at Atlantic City on 18 October 1908, transferring to Broadway, at the Empire Theatre in New York City in December 1908. The production starred Maude Adams and Richard Bennett.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted as a radio drama by Howard Teichmann . Broadcast September 24, 1939 on The Campbell Playhouse (radio series)

Another radio adaptation, by Cecile Walton, was translated into Afrikaans as Wat Elke Vrou Weet by Donald MacDonald in 1961.

Performance history in South Africa

1930: The play was produced by the Cape Town Repertory Theatre Society in the Rondebosch Town Hall in October 1930 and in 1943 by Gwen ffrangçon-Davies / Marda Vanne Company starring George Vollaire, Alec Bell, Siegfried Mynhardt.

1961: Broadcast in Afrikaans as Wat Elke Vrou Weet by the SABC Afrikaans service on on the programme Radioteater on 22 December.



The Mime, 3(2), 1930.

Trek 8(12):18, 1943; 8(16):18, 1944.



A copy of the SABC typed script for the 1961 broadcast of Wat Elke Vrou Weet, found in the Stellenbosch Drama Department archives in 2022.

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