Difference between revisions of "Grimaldi, or The Life of an Actress"

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Grimaldi, or The Life of an Actress is a drama in five acts by Dion Boucicault (1820-1890)[1].

Also found as Grimaldi, The Life of an Actress, Grimaldi, or Scenes in the Life of an Actress or Violet, or Scenes in the Life of an Actress.

The original text

The play was based on La Vie d'une Comédiènne a drama in five acts and eight tableaux about the Comédie-Française by Anicet-Bourgois and Théodore Barrière, first performed in Paris at the Théâtre des Variétés de la Porte-Saint-Martin on 22 March, 1854.

Boucicault adapted the French play to deal with the life of the actor Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837)[2]. The Boucicault version was first performed at the National Theatre, Cincinnati, on September 24, 1855 and later at The Theatre, New Orleans, with Boucicault as Grimaldi. Subsequently performed at London's Adelphi Theatre on 1 March 1862.

Published by Samuel French in French's Standard Drama, No. 159 in 1856 and Dicks Standard Plays, No. 440 (London: John Dicks, 1886).

Translations and adaptations

In 1914 the play was turned into a silent film Grimaldi[3] directed by Charles E. Vernon.

Performance history in South Africa

1876: Performed as The Life of an Actress in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town by Captain Disney Roebuck's company on 29 June, with Aunt Charlotte's Maid (Morton).

1876: Performed as The Life of an Actress in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town by Captain Disney Roebuck's company on 12 July.

1876: Performed by the Disney Roebuck company (now managed by C. Wilstone) in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, on 31 August, with a cast that included Hilda Temple and J.B. Howe. The Laughing Hyena (Webster) is the afterpiece.


Robert Hogan. 1969. Dion Boucicault. New York: Twayne Publishers, p.129[4]






F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 340-342, 344, 348, 350.

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