Les Deux Orphelines

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Les Deux Orphelines ("The two orphans") is a historical play in five acts by Adolphe d'Ennery (1811-1899)[1] and Eugène Cormon (1811-1903)[2]

Also known in English as Les Soeurs Gérard (The Gérard Sisters)

The original text

A melodrama set during the French Revolution, it premiered in French on 20 January 1874 at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris. Published in Paris by Tresse and Eugène Fasquelle, Éditeurs, 11, rue de Grenelle, 11, 1875.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English as The Two Orphans by N. Hart Jackson it opened in the United States at A.M. Palmer's Union Square Theatre on December 21, 1874 and became a popular melodrama in the USA.

The play was also turned into many other works, including an 1877 novel written by the same authors, an 1878 Portuguese opera and was filmed at least four times during the silent film era. One of these was D.W. Griffith's 1921 film Orphans of the Storm.

Performance history in South Africa

1887: The play was performed in English as Two Orphans and formed part of the repertoire of the Wheeler Theatre Company when they played in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town during April and May. Probably directed by Sutton Vane.





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. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p. 384

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