La Gamine

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La Gamine is a French comedy in four acts by Henri de Gorsse (1868-1936)[1] and by Pierre Veber (1869-1942)[2]

Not to be confused with La Gamine de Paris (1887)[3], an operetta by Gaston Serpette.

The original text

First performed at the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Paris, on 24 March 1911. The text first published in Volume 177 of L'Illustration Théâtrale, Paris, ("journal d'actualités dramatiques publiant le texte complet des pièces nouvelles jouées dans les principaux théâtres de Paris"), dated 22 April, 1911.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English and transported to a South African context by Stephen Black as The Flapper. The translation was first produced in 1911 and presented as "a new South African play in four acts" by anonymous authors. When pressed by the critics, Black intimated that they were "local people". This version was first produced to public acclaim but vastly contradicting critical reviews in 1911, with a furore erupting about the authorship between the author and the local critics in Johannesburg and Black eventually admitting it was a translation. However, the adaptation was very popular and the play became one of Black's major successes. A manuscript copy of Black's version is included in the Black collection in the Africana section of the South African Library in Cape Town. An incomplete typescript copy is held in the Strange Collection at the Johannesburg Public Library.

Translated into Italian as a stage play called La Monella (1914) by Nino Oxilia (1889-1917)[4] and adapted and directed by him as an Italian silent film of the same name for Società Italiana Cines (1918)[5].

Adapted as a silent film called The Studio Girl (1918)[6] by Select Pictures Corporation, directed by Charles Giblyn (1871-1934)[7]

Performance history in South Africa

1911: Produced as The Flapper at the Standard Theatre, Johannesburg, towards the end of the year.

1912: Performed as The Flapper by the same cast in the Opera House, Cape Town, opening on 27 July.

1917: The Flapper was revived at the Standard Theatre, Johannesburg, in February, with Stephen Black in the role of "Henry Fenton", supported by Cecil Kellaway, Margaret van Hulsteyn, Dolly Sinclair, Erie Drew, Mabel Morton, George Paget, Herbert Traynor, Justus Gerard and Lilian Bell.


U.S. Government Printing Office. 1911. Catalogue of Copyright Entries: Pamphlets, leaflets, contributions to newspapers or periodicals, etc.; lectures, sermons, addresses for oral delivery; dramatic compositions; maps; motion pictures, Volume 8, Issue 1 (p. 8831), Google E-book[8]

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 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.203-205

Stage and Cinema, 4(82):9.)

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