Black-Eyed Susan, or All in the Downs

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A comic play in three acts by Douglas Jerrold.

The original text

Described as "a nautical melodrama (with all its stock characters) that praises the patriotic British tar (sailor) while critiquing authoritarianism in the British Navy"[1], it was the playwright's Jerrold's first successful play, opening at the Surrey Theatre on 26 January 1829 and setting a new record of over 150 performances. It is a key play in the history of English melodrama, and became a stock play across the Empire, also in South Africa, till well into the 20th century.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1829: First performed in Cape Town by H. Booth and local amateurs on 10 November as an afterpiece to Pizarro, or The Death of Rolla (Sheridan), with Booth as "William".


F.C.L. Bosman, 1928: pp. 209,

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