Difference between revisions of "Struck Oil"
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Revision as of 05:58, 1 November 2019
Struck Oil is a play by
The original text
Based on a one-act play called The Dead, or Five Years Away by an Irish miner and amateur playwright named Sam Smith, which told the story of about John Stofel, a Dutch shoemaker, and had a plot somewhat similar to Rip Van Winkle. The American actor J.C. Williamson came across this text and bought it outright for $100. He then had it rewritten by Clay M. Greene, and retitled it Struck Oil (though claiming that he had re-written the last act himself).
The new work is a melodramatic tale that tells of the travails of John Stofel and his a daughter Lizzie during the US Civil War, when John is wounded and loses his mind, returning to find that oil had been discovered on the farm he had bought before the war and the previous owner now wants to repossess the farm. They are ultimately saved when herecovers his mind and finds the deeds to the farm.
The play was first performed on 23 February 1874 and became a very popular vehicle for Williamson and his wife Maggie Moore.
Translations and adaptations
Made into a 1919 Australian silent film directed by Franklyn Barrett (considered a lost film).
Performance history in South Africa
1892: Performed in the Vaudeville Theatre, Cape Town, by the visiting Emilie Bevan Comedy Company as part of a three-and-a-half month season of 20 plays which began on 8 August. It is uncertain which text was used in this case.
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