Not Such a Fool as He Looks

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Not Such a Fool as He Looks is a farcial drama in three acts by Henry J. Byron (1835-1884)[1].

The original text

First performed at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, on 4 December, 1868 and opened in London at the Globe Theatre on 23 October, 1869 with Henry J. Byron in the leading role. It subsequently opened in New York at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in 1871.

Published in Chicago by The Dramatic Publishing Company and in New York by R.M. De Witt, [both ca. 1870]

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1876: Performed as Not Such a Fool as He Looks in the Theatre Royal, Burg Street, Cape Town, by the Disney Roebuck company on 4 and 6 July, with The Wandering Minstrel (Mayhew).

1884: Performed as Not Such a Fool as He Looks in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by the Henry Harper and his company as part of a fine season of plays that opened in June, with H.C. Sidney giving an excellent performance as "Sir Simon Simple", according to the memoires of Boonzaier (1923).

1886: Performed, assisted by members 0f the Wheeler Brothers' company, by H.C. Sidney and Alice Norton as part of a their final season of plays put on in the Theatre Royal, Burg Street, Cape Town, before leaving for Australia.


Facsimile version of the 1870s American edition, Hathi Trust Digital Library[2]

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 1932. (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: pp.341, 344-5, 377, 383

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