The original text
The play tells of "Spoofah Bey", an Irish adventurer, who enlists the help of a retired costermonger and an assortment of British characters to travel to Morocco, where the Irishman hoped to get the right to sell theatre concessions by convincing local Vizier that his companions are representatives of "the flower of the British music hall". In the end he succeeds with his business venture.
Written by Arthur Branscombe, with music by F. Osmond Carr (1858-1916) and lyrics by Adrian Ross (1859-1933), the play was first performed at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on 13 April 1893, then transferred to the Trafalgar Square Theatre on 8 January 1894, and had a total of 295 performances.
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1902-3: Performed in English (as La Poupee) by the Mouillot-De Jong Company, at the Opera House, Cape Town, as part of a season of musical comedy and light opera beginning in December of 1902 and running into 1903.
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