Black-Eyed Susan, or All in the Downs
Not to be confused with Black-Eyed Susan, or The Little Bill That Was Taken Up, Burnand's burlesque based on the Jerrold work.
The original text
Based on John Gay's well known ballad by that name, it has been described as "a nautical melodrama (with all its stock characters) that praises the patriotic British tar (sailor) while critiquing authoritarianism in the British Navy", 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
An American version, published in 1856 by William V. Spencer, Boston, is apparently an adaptation, as it is called "A nautical and domestic drama, in two acts" (1856), based on the "carefully marked copy" of a performance in the Boston Theatre.
Black-Eyed Susan, or The Little Bill That Was Taken Up is a burlesque of Jerrold's play by Burnand and was first performed in London in 1866, published in 1867. (For South African performances, see the entry.)
Performance history in South Africa
Facsimile of the 1856 Boston version, Internet Archive
F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 68, 70, 73, 94,99, 110, 134, 211, 214-5, 312-3, 322-3, 326, 329-331, 334, 336, 340, 349, 360, 364.
William Groom. 1899-1900. Drama in Cape Town. Cape Illustrated Magazine, 10(4): 478-481, 517-520, 547-552, 580-584, 640-643, 670-672, 706-708.
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