A brief history of the play by Dion Boucicault
The following article was originally published in A Dictionary of the Drama. W. Davenport Adams. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1904.

The Colleen Bawn, a play by Dion Boucicault, was founded on Griffin's novel of _The Collegians_. It was originally produced at New York in December 1859, and first performed in London at the Adelphi Theatre, September 10, 1860, with the author as Myles na Coppaleen, J. Billington as Mrs. Cregan, Miss Agnes Robertson (Mrs. Boucicault) as Eily O'Connor, Mrs. Alfred Mellon (Miss Woolgar) as Anne Chute, E. Falconer as Danny Mann, and David Fisher as Kyrle Daly. The play was performed for three hundred and sixty nights consecutively--at that time one of the longest runs on record. "When I wrote The Colleen Bawn," says the author, "I invented the Irish drama. It was original in form, in material, in treatment, and in dialogue." Henry Morley wrote if it that "it owes much to the genius of Gerald Griffin, who contrived the story, and most to the constructive tact of the dramatist, in whose hands every situation is effective, and from whom every phrase tells upon the audience."

The play was revived at the Adelphi in November, 1864, with Collins as Myles, R. Phillips as Danny Mann, Miss Henrietta Sims as Eily, Mrs. A. Mellon as Anne; at the Gaity in May, 1872, with the Boucicaults and Miss Lydia Foote; at the Adelphi in 1876, with W. Terriss, J.G. Shore, S. Emery, J.C. Williamson, Mrs. A. Mellon, Miss Hudspeth, Miss Cicely Nott, and Miss Maggie Moore; at the Adelphi and Drury Lane in 1877; at the Duke's in January, 1879; at the Philharmonic in 1883. A burlesque of the piece, entitled The Colleen Bawn settled at Last, and written (in one act) by W. Brough and A. Halliday, was produced at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on July 5, 1862, with Miss Lydia Thompson as Mrs. Hardress Cregan (Eily O'Connor), Miss Laidlaw as Mrs. Kyrle Daly (Anne Chute), C. Selby as Lord Dundreary (of the period), etc. H.J. Byron wrote a burlesque on the subject entitled Miss Eily O'Connor, and W.F. Florence produced a travesty of the play in America.


Back to Dion Boucicault

Home · Theatre Links · Monologues · One Act Plays · Bookstore · © 2006