The Old Maid

Revision as of 12:47, 5 August 2017 by Miriamt (talk | contribs) (The Old Maid, by Zoë Akins)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

There are two plays produced in South Africa by this name.

The Old Maid, by Arthur Murphy

The Old Maid is a comedy in two acts by Arthur Murphy (1727 – 1805)[1].

The original text

According to Murphy's own "Advertissement" in his published edition, the play was based on the 1737 one-act French play, L'Etourderie ("The thoughtless deed") by "Monsieur Fagan" (Christophe-Barthélemy Fagan, pen name Fagan de Lugny, 1702–1755)[2].

The Old Maid was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1761, and printed in London by P. Vaillant in the same year.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1807: Performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the Garrison Players on 9 July, 1807, with The Rivals (Sheridan) and an epilogue written an spoken by Captain Collins.

1807: Performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the Garrison Players on 8 August, 1807, as afterpiece to The Beaux' Stratagem (Farquhar), with an interlude written by Captain Frazer and spoken by Mr Napier in the role of "Cherry", and an Epilogue written and spoken by Captain Frazer as "Mrs Sullen". Another performer was Mrs Kinniburgh, one of the first women to appear on stage for the company.

1808: Performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the Garrison Players on 3 June, 1808, with The Lying Valet (Garrick) and and occasional comic songs, as a benefit for the Widows and Orphans of the Royal Artillery and Engineers. and an epilogue written an spoken by Captain Collins. Rather uniquely Bosman (1928, p75) however, quotes the names of the plays from the bilingual newspaper The Cape Town gazette and African advertiser = Kaapsche Stads courant en Afrikaansche berigter in Dutch ( as De Oude Meid [sic!], and De Liegende Knegt) - but they were clearly performed in the original English.


Facsimile version of the first edition of The Old Maid by P. Vaillant (1761), Google E-Book[3]

Facsimile version of L'Etourderie by M. Fagan (Duchenne, 1761), Google E-Book[4]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [5]: pp. 71-2, 75

Go to ESAT Bibliography

The Old Maid, by Zoë Akins

The Old Maid is a play by American playwright, poet, and author Zoë Akins (1886-1958) [6].

Original text

The play is a dramatization of Edith Wharton's The Old Maid, a melodrama set in New York City and written in five episodes stretching across time from 1839 to 1854. In 1935, Akins was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for this play.

Performance history in South Africa

1939: Presented by the University of Cape Town’s Speech and Drama Department and their University Dramatic Society at the Little Theatre in June, directed by Leontine Sagan, starring John Caro, among others.


Wikipedia [7].

The South African Theatre, Music and Dance 1(1), 1939.

Inskip, 1972. p.124.

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