Villikins and his Dinah

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Villikins and his Dinah is a tragico-comico burlesque in one act by Francis C. Burnand (1836-1917)[1]

The original text

According to Wikipedia[2], Burnand's play was one of at least two farces written to exploit the popularity of the stage song Villikins and his Dinah, which had emerged in England in 1853 as a burlesque version of a traditional ballad called "William and Dinah". Immensely popular, the tune was later adopted for many other songs, including "Sweet Betsy from Pike". The other farce based on the song is Willikind and hys Dinah (1854) by J. Stirling Coyne.

Burnand's play was expressly written for Amateur performance, and first performed on November 8, 1855, at the A.D.C. Rooms, Cambridge. The text was published by T.H. Lacy in 1855(?).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1867: Performed by the 9th Regiment in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on 25 May, with a "Gymnastic Display" and Mrs White (Raymond).

1867: Performed by the 9th Regiment in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, on I June, with a "Gymnastic Display" and Jack's Delight (Williams).


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

Facsimile version of the original text by T.H. Lacy, HathiTrust Digital Library[3]

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