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no. 438

Saturday, 4 February 2006

Gerald Du Maurier and Dion G. Boucicault
in E.W. Hornung and Eugene Presbury's play,
Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman
(based on Hornung's popular novel, The Amateur Cracksman),
Comedy Theatre, London, 12 May 1906

Dion G. Boucicault & Gerald Du Maurier

Dion G. Boucicault (1859 -1929), American -born actor,
and Gerald Du Maurier (1873 -1934), English actor,
as Curtis Bedford and A.J. Raffles in Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman,
Comedy Theatre, London, 12 May 1906
(photo: Daily Mirror Studios, London, 1906)

'London, 19 May 1906.
I am glad to chronicle that since I last had the honor of mailing you we have had two big successes in Playland. . . .
'The first of the above twin successes was Raffles, which Charles Frohman (with him the English manager, Arthur Chudleigh) produced last Saturday night at the Comedy. Seeing that you have had Raffles in your American midst for many performances, it would be idle for me to describe the plot, story and construction. So I won't. I will only tell you that as the Amateur Cracksman Gerald Du Maurier did very well, although the character is a good deal out of his line. Dion Boucicault was excellent as Curtis Bedford, and equally artistic aid was given by Frederick Volpé as the Earl, Grahame Browne as Harry Manders, Lawrence Irving as Crashay, Courtenay Foote as Viscount Crowley, and Jessie Bateman as Gwendoline Couran. Raffles was warmly welcomed with but a few dissentient voices. I hope that this production will bear out its present promise of financial success, so as to make up for the heavy failure which Frohman and Chudleigh sustained with Captain Robert Marshall's comedy, The Alabaster Staircase [Comedy, London, 21 February 1906, 19 performances], and Mr. [J.M.] Barrie's two recent joke plays [Josephine and Toy, Comedy, London, 5 April 1906, 23 performances apiece], each of which was really too much of a joke.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 2 June 1906, p.11c)

Gerald Du Maurier

Gerald Du Maurier as 'Raffles', the debonair gentleman burglar
in Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman, Comedy Theatre, London, 12 May 1906
(photo: unknown, London, 1906)

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