The original text
The original text
This skit is likely to have been a part of the repertoire of the Christy Minstrels when they toured the British colonies in 1862, for a Dutch newspaper (Het Volksblad, Cape Town, 6 November, 1862) mentioned a piece called as De Zenuwen (The Nerves) that had been presented as part of the repertoire of "the original" the Christy Minstrels while on a visit to and tour of the Cape Colony (from September to November). This was probably an alternative title for the earlier version of The Nervous Cures!.
According to the Australian website of the Circus History Society, in its section covering the Barlow Minstrel Troupe, the Christy Minstrels troupe, of which Brown and Norton were members, had been shipwrecked on the coast of South Africa in 1863 while on their way from Cape Town to Australia and - having been saved - continued on to Australia, where they went on to continue their performances there.
There is a record Brown and Norton performing this particular skit at the School of Arts in Sydney Australia on 5 May, 1863 as part in their final season. A version of the music, "arranged for the pianoforte by M. Younger", was published in Sydney by W.J. Johnson & Co., somewhere between 1863-69. The publication is "Dedicated to the Christy's Minstrels" (sic).
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1862: A piece called as De Zenuwen (The Nerves) was presented as part of the repertoire of "the original" the Christy Minstrels while in the Cape Colony (from September to November). This was probably an alternative title for the earlier version of The Nervous Cures!.
1866: Performed on 8 September in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, as The Nervous Cures and announced as an "entirely new version of the Popular Dance-Song" by six members of the 9th Regiment's dramatic company. Also performed were Luke the Labourer (Buckstone) and Bombastes Furioso (Rhodes).
1866: Performed again on 18 September by the 9th Regiment in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, this time The Area Belle (Brough and Halliday) and Luke the Labourer (Buckstone), as well as a sword dance by H. Wallace.
1868: In November a burlesque called The Nervous Cures was apparently performed in Cape Town by Young Men’s Institute Amateur Christy’s. It was done, along with Charles White's Negro farce United States Mail, as a benefit for the Oddfellows Library and Reading Room.
http://nla.gov.au:80/tarkine/nla.obj-169687756 - Accessed 8/01/19 5:12 AM
Het Volksblad, 6 November, 1862
Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May, 1863
The Australian Circus History Society Website
W.J. Mahar. 1999. Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture. Volume 442 of Music in American life. University of Illinois Press, 1999
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