Also found simply as Tiridate
The original text
A one act piece about an actress, Mademoiselle Dumesnil of the Comédie Française, her god-child Louise, the bailiff of the province and his son. Set in Paris in the time of Louis XV.
First performed in Paris at the Théâtre du Gymnase-Dramatique, on 15 April, 1841 and published by Dondey-Dupre, Paris, in the same year.
Translations and adaptations
Charles Reade adapted Narcisse's play as a short story called "Art: a dramatic tale" and published it in Bentley's Miscellany (December 1853). He then adapted his own story as a one act play called Art in 1855. In his version based on a fictional incident in life of the 18th century British actress Anne Oldfield (1783-1830) and a young poet who falls in love with her.
Reade later revived his play as An Actress of Daylight for the actress Mrs John Wood, and did so again in 1883 for the actress Geneviève Ward - now calling the play Nance Oldfield. The first production by Ward was a failure at the time, but the play would become a standard work in her repertoire over the years.
In 1891 Ellen Terry purchased the rights to Reade's play, performing the leading role numerous times, also under the title Nance Oldfield.
In 1894 W. H. Baker & co., Boston, published an American version of the play, a one-act play likewise called Nance Oldfield but credited to "M.A." (Mildred Aldrich, 1853-1928), in the series Baker's edition of plays. The text clearly credits "M.A." as the author, but states that it had been "arranged from Charles Reade's story".
Performance history in South Africa
Facsimile version of the original French text of 1841, Google E-book
Jeffrey Richards. 2007. Sir Henry Irving: A Victorian Actor and His World A&C Black:p.53
Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900 (Volume 5, Late Nineteenth Century) Cambridge University Press:p.396 
J.P. Wearing. 2013. The London Stage 1890-1899: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. (Second, revised edition, p.215
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays
Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays
Return to PLAYS III: Collections
Return to South African Festivals and Competitions
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page