The Bondman

Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Bondman is a play in five acts by Hal Caine (1853–1931)[1]

Though originally called The Bondman Play, it is normally referred to simply as The Bondman.

The original text

Based on Hal Caine's own 1890 best-selling novel of the same name, which was set in the Isle of Man and Iceland, the play was written by Caien himself, having made a few changes, inter alia to the ending, and moved the setting from Iceland to Sicily. After a few readings and informal try-outs of various versions, final version of the play, entitled The Bondman Play, opened on Friday 21 September 1906, in the Drury Lane Theatre, in a production by Arthur Collins, with Mrs Patrick Campbell in one of the leads. Though poorly received by the critics, the play was highly successful with the general public.

First published as The Bondman Play by The Daily Mail, London, in 1906.

Translations and adaptations

The play was translated into a number of languages over the years.

The novel was twice filmed, by Edgar Lewis in 1916 and by Herbert Wilcox in 1929.

Performance history in South Africa

1907: Performed in the Opera House , Cape Town, by Leonard Rayne and company during April.


Facsimile version of the 1906 text, The Internet Archive[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 1923. (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: p. 427

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page