La Locandiera

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La Locandiera (The Mistress of the Inn) is a 1753 three-act comedy by Carlo Goldoni [1] (1707-1793).

The original text

Written in 1753, this three-act comedy about a coquettish inn-owner was first staged during the Carnival of Venice in January 1753, and published in Florence that same year. However the play was no great success apparently and failed completely at the Italian Theater in Paris in 1764 (as a two act piece under the title Camille, Aubergiste). However, rediscovered, it was taken on a tour of Europe by a company of Venetian actors and triumphantly revived with a Parisian production of 1830. It has since been regarded as Goldoni's masterpiece.

Translations and adaptations

Best known in South Africa as Mirandolina (after the play's main character), an English translation and adaptation by Clifford Bax [2] (1886-1962), but there are several other translations into English with different titles:

E.g. The Mistress of the Inn, The Innkeeper Woman, Miranda, etc.[3],

Another translation, also by Clifford Bax, is entitled Mine Hostess and is included in Three comedies by Carlo Goldoni, edited by Gabriele Baldini, published by Oxford University Press, 1961.

Bax's version, Mirandolina, was translated into Afrikaans as Moeite met die Minnaars ("Trouble with suitors") by Mariechen Naudé in 1968.

The play has also been adapted for operatic and ballet versions (inter alia by Antonio Salieri and Domenico Poggi in 1773) and films.

Performance history in South Africa

1957: Performed as Mirandolina by Pietro Nolte for the Cape Town Theatre Company, March 1957, starring Lydia Lindeque.

1962: Performed as Mirandolina by the Brian Brooke Company, the dates and venue are unknown

1962: Peter Craig directed a production of Mirandolina in Durban, with a cast that included Malcolm Woolfson.

1968: Performed in Afrikaans as Moeite met die Minnaars. Directed for PACOFS by Roy Sargeant with Johan Botha, Neels Coetzee, Lynette Marais, Raymond Davies, George Barnes, Michael Lovegrove, Maryann Johnston and Estelle Davidtz. This production also toured Natal in September 1968.


Flora Ghezzo.1999 "Mirandolina, or the Mistress of the Inn" in World Literature and Its Times: Profiles of Notable Literary Works and the Historic Events That Influenced Them (The Gale Group, Inc.)[4]

Friedrich Melchior Freiherr von Grimm, et al. Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique de Grimm et de Diderot, depuis 1753 jusqu'en 1790 (Vol 3 1761-1764). Paris: Furne, 1829[5].

Biography of Peter Curtis, submitted to ESAT by Craig Curtis in September 2023

World Drama by Allardyce Nicoll. Harrap, 1949: pp. 382-389.

Photocopies of programmes for productions by the Brian Brooke Company held by NELM: [Collection: ASCH, Valda]: 2005. 65. 7. 11.

Research material on the theatre in SA held by NELM: [Collection: FLETCHER, Jill]: 2005. 75. 19. 39

Teater SA, 1(1) and (2), 1968; PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988.

Programme and press clippings featuring Malcolm Woolfson. – 1962 held by NELM: [Collection: WOOLFSON, Malcolm L]: 1999. 113. 13. 17. 1.

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