La Joie Fait Peur

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La Joie Fait Peur ("joy causes fear") is a one act French play in 23 scenes by Mme Émile de Girardin (Delphine de Girardin, 1804-1855)[1].

The original text

The title is normally written in lower case in French sources, i.e. La joie fait peur.

First performed in Paris, at the Théâtre-Français on 25 February, 1854, and published by Callmann-Lévy, Paris.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted into English as a one act play called Night and Morning by Dion Boucault (1820-1890)[2], first performed in Manchester then opened atthe Gaiety Theatre, London, on November 29, 1871. The text was published by and in Chicago by the Dramatic Publishing Co.

The play was also apparently known as Kerry, after the leading character, originally played by Boucicault himself. A number of sources thus refer to the play as either Kerry, or Night and Morning or Night and Morning, or Kerry.

The French original was also translated directly into English as The Joy that Causes Fear by Tennyson Smith, published and performed in Australia in 1888 by Tessero's French Comedy Company [3]

Performance history in South Africa

1903: Performed as Kerry by the Edward Terry and his company in the Good Hope Theatre, Cape Town, on 6 April, along with The Passport (Stephenson and Yardley).


Transcript version of the original French text, Théâ[4]

Facsimile version of the Callmann-Lévy edition, Gallica[5]

G.M. Rohrig. 1956. An Analysis of Curtain Acting Editions and Promptbooks of Plays by Dion Boucicault, Unpublished PhD dissertation, The Ohio State University[6]

Richard Fawkes. 2011. Dion Boucicault, Ardent Media: p.132[7] By

Facsimile version of the 1888 Programme and text of The Joy that Causes Fear, Trove[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: p.414.

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