Also found as Bombastes Furioso, or The King of Utopia
The original text
Subtitled "A Burlesque Tragic Opera", it was written in 1810, first authorized printed edition published in 1822. A drama with comic songs, that satirizes the bombastic style of other tragedies that were in fashion at the time, and based in part on the influential Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto (1516). The play was very popular throughout the 19th century.
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1818: First performed in South Africa as an afterpiece to John Bull, or an Englishman's Fireside (Colman) by the Gentlemen Amateurs, in association with Mr Cooke and his company of performers from the Theatre Royal, Liverpool in the African Theatre in Cape Town, on Saturday, 28th March 1818, four years before its publication.
1827: Performed as an afterpiece to She Stoops to Conquer by the Amateur Company of the Garrison, in the African Theatre, Cape Town on 5 September. This was a benefit performance for Mrs Black and Mrs Johnson.
1832: Performed as Bombastes Furioso, or The King of Utopia (Rhodes) on 9 June by All the World's a Stage in the Cape Town Theatre (i.e. the African Theatre), with The Married Bachelor, or Master and Man (O'Callaghan) as afterpieces to The Maid and the Magpie, or Who's the Thief!!! (Pocock).
1834: Performed as Bombastes Furioso in Cape Town's Garrison Theatre by the "Private Theatricals by the officers of the Garrison" (see the Garrison Players) on 11 July 1834, alongside The Haunted Inn, or How to Lay a Ghost (Peake) and Katherine and Petruchio (Shakespeare).
1838: It was apparently performed in Grahamstown in this year by the Grahamstown Amateur Company, performing under the motto Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense (Though there is some difference of opinion between F.C.L. Bosman and P.W. Laidler on whether it was not perhaps a performance in Cape Town - see Bosman, 1928: pp. 388-9).
1853: Performed in the Garrison Theatre by the Officers of the Garrison on Wednesday 14 September, with The Illustrious Stranger, or Married and Buried (Millingen and Kenney) and Did You Ever Send Your Wife to Camberwell? (Coyne). Actors included R.A. Pasley, Captain Hall and Captain Fisher.
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