The Cradle Song

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The Cradle Song is an English translation of Canción de cuna, a Spanish play by Gregorio Martínez Sierra (1881-1947).

The original text

Sierra was a Spanish writer, poet, dramatist and theatre director, a key figure in the revival of the Spanish theatrical avant-garde in the early twentieth century. Canción de cuna, called his masterpiece, was written and first performed in the Teatro Lara, Madrid, in 1911, and became popular not only in Spain, but in the entire Spanish-speaking world.


The play was translated into many languages, being played and imitated widely through- out the civilized world. It was translated into English as The Cradle Song by John Garrett Underhill (1876 – 1946)[1] and first published by E.P. Dutton & Co in 1922 in the collection: The Cradle Song and Other Plays. The English version was initially performed at Times Square Theatre in 1921, then, on November 2, 1926, opened at the Fortune Theatre, London, followed by a run at the Civic Repertory Theatre, New York in 1927.

In 1933 it was made into an English film, directed by Mitchell Leisen, under the title Cradle Song.

Productions in South Africa

1932: Presented by the University of Cape Town's Speech and Drama Department at the Little Theatre, directed by Ruth Peffers in December.

1943: Produced in the Little Theatre in Cape Town by Leontine Sagan for the UCT Speech-Training Department, featuring Elizabeth Hutton, Rosalie van der Gucht, Archie Foster, Graham Young, Nada Waterman, Maragaret Whyte.


Trek 7(22):16; 7(24):16, 1943.

G. Martinez Sierra, 1922. The Cradle Song and Other Plays[2].

Inskip, 1972. pp.119, 132.

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