Temptation, or The Fatal Brand
Temptation, or The Fatal Brand is a drama in two act by W. Thompson Townsend (1806?-1870).
Also referred to as The Temptation or simply Temptation.
(F.C.L. Bosman, 1980, suggests that another alternative title - one used by Disney Roebuck - may have been Temptation, or The Moral Brand. However, this clearly sounds wrong: surely the alternative for "fatal" would have been "mortal", not "moral", and the title would thus have been Temptation, or The Mortal Brand. However no play by this title has yet been found in the sources.)
The original text
Though no trace of a performance in London, nor any reference to a published text, have so far been found, the play is listed by The Victorian Plays Project in a catalogue of plays produced in 1861.
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1862: According to F.C.L. Bosman (1980, p.231) the play was performed as Temptation by Clara Tellett and her company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 3 July, and billed as a "new three act drama". Also performed were a dance by Mrs Brazier and The Maid with the Milking Pail (Buckstone). (Given the matter of the three acts mentioned, this may in fact not have been Townsend's play, but a play called Temptation written by WR Waldron and performed by him in 1855. - See the entry on Temptation)
1862: Performed again as Temptation by Clara Tellett and her company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 24 July, with songs and dances, and an unnamed farce.
1864: Performed by the Juvenile Christy's Minstrels in the Mechanic's Institute, Cape Town, in July, with lead played by Master Williams and Miss Lytton.
1877: Performed by Disney Roebuck and his company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 10 November, as Temptation, or The Moral Brand with The Streets of London (Boucicault) and a ballad by Gertrude Wynne
1877: Performed by Disney Roebuck and his company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 16 November, (and referred to by Bosman, 1980:p.363, as The Temptation), with East Lynne (Wood)
1877: Performed by Disney Roebuck and his company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 20 November, (and here referred to by Bosman, 1980:p.363, simply as Temptation), with The Chimney Corner (Craven) and a ballad by Gertrude Wynne.
The Victorian Plays Project, Electronic Catalogue - Volume 52
Thomas Recchio. 2020. "Embodied Scholarship: A Performance History of William Richard Waldron’s Lizzie Leigh; or, The Murder Near the Old Mill (1863)", Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film 2020, Vol. 47(1) 43–67
F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 131, 134, 136, 269, 362-3.
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