San Toy, or The Emperor's Own

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San Toy, or The Emperor's Own is a musical comedy in two acts by Edward Morton (1858-1922)[1], Sidney Jones (1861-1946)[2], Harry Greenbank (1865-1899)[3] and Adrian Ross (1859-1933)[4].

Most often known simply as San Toy and ascribed to Morton as main author.

The original text

Described as a "Chinese" musical comedy, the book was written by Morton, with a musical score by Jones and lyrics by Greenbank and Ross. Some additional songs were also written by Lionel Monckton (1861-1924)[5].

The cast included Marie Tempest, Scott Russell, Huntley Wright and Rutland Barrington. First performed at Daly's Theatre, London, on 21 October 1899, with a cast that included Marie Tempest, Scott Russell, Huntley Wright and Rutland Barrington, where it ran for a record-breaking 768 performances. In America it played at Daly's Theatre on Broadway, opening on 10 October 1900, and was revived there in 1901, 1902 and 1905.

The text was copyrighted and published by Keith, Prowse & Co., London and by John Church, Cincinnati in 1899.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1902: Performed at the Good Hope Theatre by a Gaiety Company under the auspices of the Wheeler Brothers, as part of a season of Gaiety musical comedy and light opera.


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.203-205

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