Robert Macaire, the historical character
The various dramatized and literary versions of the story of Robert Macaire is based on a legend from the 14th century, as recorded in a letter from Julius Caesar Scaliger, who tells of a French courtier who was murdered in the forest of Bondy, north of Paris. The only witness to the murder was his dog, which pursued Robert Macaire, the perpetrator, until he was captured. The king ordered that Macaire, armed with a stick, and the dog should fight a duel, which took place on the Isle de Notre Dame, and the dog won, forcing Macaire to confess and be hanged. (See Tamsin Pickeral, 2012: p.134).
Dramatised versions of the tale
The basic tale has been used as source material, translated and adapted into various languages over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. English versions by various authors, are broadly found under two main titles: Those using the phrases The Dog of Montargis (or The Dog of Montarges), and/or The Forest of Bondy, on the one hand; and - particularly after the 1830s- those using the title Robert Macaire on the other.
For plays using Robert Macaire in their titles, see below:
Robert Macaire (1834) by Robert Antier and Frédérick Lemaître
Also known as Robert-Macaire.
The original text
First performed at the Folies-Dramatiques on 14 June 1834. It was written as a follow-up piece to the L'Auberge des Adrets (1823) by the same authors, which first introduced their version of the character "Robert Macaire".
Translations and adaptations
The original 1834 French text was translated and adapted into English as Robert Macaire, or The Two Murderers of Lyons by Charles Selby Published 1842.
The original 1834 French text was translated and adapted into English as Robert Macaire, or The Roadside Inn Turned Inside Out, a burlesque extravaganza, by Henry James Byron (1835-1884). Also known as Robert Macaire, it was first performed in English in the Royal Globe Theatre, London, on 16 April, 1870. The English text published by Thomas Hailes Lacy, 1872 ([Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays. vol. 93.)
The French play was later also adapted as Robert-Macaire by Philippe Gille (1831-1901) and William Busnach (1832-1907) and performed in the new version on 1 March, 1889 at the Théâtre Porte Saint-Martin and published by Tresse et Stock (Paris).
Performance history in South Africa
1862. Produced in English in Selby's version (Robert Macaire or The Two Murderers of Lyons) in the Eastern Cape village of Keiskama Hoek's Garrison Theatre by the Band Amateurs (North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot) on June 19 by the Band Amateurs featuring T. Smith (Germeuil, a wealthy farmer), T. Paterson (Dument, an inn-keeper), W. Dansie (Robert Macaire, under the assumed name of Bertrand), J. M'Kechnie (Jacques Strop), F. Girton (Charles), J. F. Gay (Pierre, head waiter), J. Mann (Sergeant Loupy), J. Grimley (Louis), B. Sheeran (Francoise), J. Davies (Marie), J. Durney (Clementine). Also produced was George Wood's one-act farce, The Irish Doctor, or The Dumb Lady Cured from Moliere's Le Médecin Malgré Lui
1875. Produced in English in Byron's version (Robert Macaire, or The Roadside Inn Turned Inside Out) by Disney Roebuck in the Bijou Theatre on 16 September, with Arrah-na-Pogue, or The Wicklow Wedding (Boucicault). The evening a farewell benefit for Mr Paulton and Mrs Paulton.
1877: Performed in English as Robert Macaire, or The Roadside Inn Turned Inside Out in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 28 September by the Disney Roebuck company, with the burlesque Aladdin, or The Wonderful Woman (?)
Facsimile version of the 1889 French version, 
Facsimile version of the 1842 text by Selby, Google E-Book
Facsimile version of the 1872 English text by Byron, Google E-Book
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