East Lynne

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East Lynne is the title used for a number stage plays and films, based on the novel by Ellen Wood (1814-1887)[1].

The original text

The original tale derives from Ellen Wood's sensation novel, a Victorian best-seller with an elaborate and implausible plot, involving infidelity and double identities. East Lynne was initially serialised in The New Monthly Magazine between January 1860 and September 1861, before being published as a three-volume novel on 19 September 1861.

There have been numerous stage and film adaptations of this tale over the years. The various stage versions are difficult to separate, since many companies used a version of the novel as a stock work, guaranteed to draw audiences, and often employed the original title. We therefore list all South African productions using the title below.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans as East Lynne by Jean Plaat-Stultjes

Performance history in South Africa

1875: Performed by Disney Roebuck and his company in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town, on 17 and 18 March, 8 June, accompanied on the second night by Perfection (Bayly) and a dance by Miss Duggan.

1876: Performed ("positively last time") by Disney Roebuck and his company in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, on 8 June, with Brown and the Brahmins (Reece).

1884-5: Performed by the Henry Harper Company in the new Theatre Royal, Cape Town, as part of Henry Harper's first season as lessee and manager of the venue.

circa 1930: Taken on tour by the Plaat-Stultjes Geselskap as East Lynne, in a stage version translated into Afrikaans and produced by Jean Plaat-Stultjes.



D.C. Boonzaier. 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: pp. 322-365, 371-2, 380. 395, 415, 429, 431-3, 438-9.

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

Conradie, Elizabeth. 1934. Hollandse skrywers uit Suid-Afrika. Deel 1 (1652-1875) 'n Kultuur-historische studie. Pretoria, J.H. de Bussy and Cape Town H.A.U.M..[3]

Conradie, Elizabeth, 1949. Hollandse skrywers uit Suid-Afrika. Deel 2 (1875-1905) 'n Kultuur-historische studie. Pretoria, J.H. de Bussy and Cape Town H.A.U.M..[4]

P.J. du Toit. 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica

Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg: p.

Sydney Paul Gosher. 1988. A historical and critical survey of the South African one-act play written in English. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Pretoria: University of South Africa.

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.

Temple Hauptfleisch. 1997. Theatre and Society in South Africa: Reflections in a Fractured Mirror. Pretoria: Van Schaik[5]: pp.

Peter Joyce. 1999. A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography. Cape Town: Francolin Publishers.

J.C. Kannemeyer 1978. Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse Literatuur I. Pretoria: Academica. (Second edition, 1984[6], pp.

J.C. Kannemeyer. 1984. ‘’Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse Literatuur’’2[7]: pp.

Ingmar Koch. 1997. Het ochtendgloren boven Kaapstad. Nederlandse rederijkers in Kaapstad, Tydskrif vir Nederlands & Afrikaans. (4de Jaargang, Nommer 2. Desember)[8]

Loren Kruger 1999. The Drama of South Africa: Plays, Pageants and Publics Since 1910 London: Routledge

P.W. Laidler. 1926. The Annals of the Cape Stage. Edinburgh: William Bryce: p.

Anna Minnaar-Vos 1969. Die Spel Gaan Voort: Die Verhaal van Hendrik en Mathilde Hanekom. Kaapstad: Tafelberg, pp. 96-110.

Brian Astbury. 1979. The Space/Die Ruimte/Indawo. Cape Town: Moira and Azriel Fine.

Percy Tucker. 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Late 19th Century Drama 1850-1900 Cambridge University Press[9]

J.A. Worp. 1972. Geschiedenis van het Drama en van het Tooneel in Nederland. Deel 2, Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren (DBNL)[10]

Joris Baers (1888-1975): Algemeene Tooneelbibliotheek Een[11]


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