Play List:

1. The Rath Boys

2. The Witchfinder

3. A Madcap Prince

4. Corinne

5. The Queen of Connaught

6. The Nine Days’ Queen

7. The Mormons

8. The Shadow of the Sword

9. Lucy Brandon

10. Storm-Beaten

11. Lady Clare

[Flowers of the Forest]

12. A Sailor and His Lass

13. Bachelors

14. Constance

15. Lottie

16. Agnes

17. Alone in London

18. Sophia

19. Fascination

20. The Blue Bells of Scotland

21. Partners

22. Joseph’s Sweetheart

23. That Doctor Cupid

24. Angelina!

25. The Old Home

26. A Man’s Shadow

27. Theodora

28. Man and the Woman

29. Clarissa

30. Miss Tomboy

31. The Bride of Love

32. Sweet Nancy

33. The English Rose

34. The Struggle for Life

35. The Sixth Commandment

36. Marmion

37. The Gifted Lady

38. The Trumpet Call

39. Squire Kate

40. The White Rose

41. The Lights of Home

42. The Black Domino

43. The Piper of Hamelin

44. The Charlatan

45. Dick Sheridan

46. A Society Butterfly

47. Lady Gladys

48. The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown

49. The Romance of the Shopwalker

50. The Wanderer from Venus

51. The Mariners of England

52. Two Little Maids from School

53. When Knights Were Bold


Short Plays

Other Plays

Buchanan’s Theatrical Ventures in America

Poetry Readings





The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law

The Critical Response
Harriett Jay

Site Diary
Site Search


48. The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown (1895) - continued (ii)


Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) (7 March, 1898 - p.3)



     Mr Frank Thornton, whose visits are always welcomed by patrons of the theatre in Dunedin, opened a short season with his English Comedy Company in the Princess Theatre on Saturday night. The popular actor has long been held in high esteem by the theatre-going public of this city, whose memories revert fondly to his impersonation of the principal part in many well-known plays, so that for the sake of reviving old friendships as well as for forming new ones his numerous admirers do not forsake him whenever he comes to Dunedin. In addition to this, Mr Thornton is a man upon whom we may depend to bring with him a talented company. On this occasion, then, it was not surprising to find that the combination with which he has associated himself for this trip is an excellent one in every respect—it is, in fact, the company which has been playing throughout Australia with him for a year or more. As for the plays Mr Thornton presents to us, his good record of the past speaks for itself. The one in which he opened his season on Saturday is entitled “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown.” It is a cleverly written farcical comedy in three acts, which when first introduced to Australians about a year ago was received with unmixed delight, as was proved by the fact that in both Sydney and Melbourne it had considerable runs—in Melbourne it packed the theatre for eight weeks. It certainly deserved its success, and the sympathies of the theatre-going people in Dunedin warrant the belief that it will meet with a hearty reception during the remainder of its short run in our city. The piece is by Robert Buchanan and Miss Harriet Jay (“Charles Marlowe”). The latter is an authoress who has assisted Mr Buchanan in several of his dramas, and it is said that it is owing in no small measure to her ability as a playwright that the joint productions meet with the success which they do, and which they undoubtedly merit. In “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown” a neat little plot is evolved, which may be told in a few sentences. Miss Angela Brightwell is a ward in chancery. While still at a boarding school she is secretly married to Captain Courtney, of the 4th Lancers. On the wedding day the lady principal of the school unexpectedly makes her appearance among the small party assembled for the occasion, and insists on Angela’s return to the academy, and on the advice of a friend (Mrs O’Gallagher) the girl consents to go back. Her husband, however, finds himself in an awkward fix. Having married a ward in chancery without the sanction of the court he has broken the law, and an officer from Scotland Yard is sent after him. But Mrs O’Gallagher again proves a resourceful friend, and she contrives that while the police officer is being detained in the dining-room the gallant captain is changing his dress in an adjoining room, and presently he appears as “my niece, Miss Brown.” It is after that that the fun begins. With the view of carrying off his captive bride from the school “Miss Brown” enters the institution as a boarding pupil, and the ludicrous and the singular situations in which the intruder is placed can be better imagined than described; indeed, the handbills are not far from the mark when they inform us that “it is funny enough to drive the blues out of a bag of indigo.” Passing over these events, then, Courtney, in his new role, meets Angela and tells her his plan, with which she, of course, agrees, and they subsequently make their escape from the school. This scene is also brimful of mirth—there is plenty of scope in it for comical passages, and they are fully taken advantage of—but it is unnecessary to follow the pair in their fortunes and their trials. In the end all finishes up well. Courtney comes in for a title, and through the agency of his purse he placates the detective, while his word is sufficient for the lady principal that “the scandal” will not become public property. From first to last the play moved with a briskness that kept up the spirit of the fun throughout. It is not too much to say that the laughter was the heartiest that has been heard within the walls of the theatre for many a day, and at the end of each act the curtain was raised in response to the most enthusiastic demands. Mr Thornton, the cordiality of whose reception marked his popularity, took the part in the first act of Captain Courtney, an army officer, and later on he appeared as “Miss Brown.” He was, of course, the prime cause of the hilarity of the evening. “Miss Brown’s” demeanour on entering the academy, particularly her style of bowing to the principal and her man-like strides about the floor, were provocative of the greatest merriment, which the audience could not possibly restrain. Another most amusing scene was the one in which “Miss Brown” innocently regarding the detective’s flask, remarks that she “has heard of brandy,” and on being allowed to taste the contents drains the bottle to the dregs. Mr George Carey, the detective, who has the task of working up the case, gave the audience a distinct treat. He brought out well the officer’s high opinion of his own worth, and his return from the chase after “Miss Brown,” with a black eye and his clothes all torn, his coat being almost in two parts, quite convulsed the audience. Mr A. Cochrane deserves praise for the exceptionally good portrayal he gave of the part of the German professor of music, whom “Miss Brown” nearly throttled when he attempted to stop the runaways from leaving the school. As Major O’Gallagher, Mr Fred Shepherd was au fait with the business of his rôle, and his rich brogue and dry humour told admirably. Miss Clare Manifield, in the rôle of Angela Brightwell, played gracefully, in appropriate girlish fashion, ably seconding Mr Thornton’s efforts in several scenes; Miss Meta Pelham carried out the part of the romantic Irish lady, Mrs O’Gallagher, with commendable skill; and Miss Elsie Carew, as Miss Romney, gave an amusing impersonation of the prim principal of the girls’ school. The rest of the cast, which was in every respect competent, included Mr E. Haygarth as the solicitor, Miss Madge Corcoran as Euphemia Schwartz “from Demerara,” and Mr W. J. Townsend as the major’s servant. The stage requisites were all that was necessary, and the orchestral music was supplied by a local combination, whose efforts met with approval.
     “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown” will be repeated to-night and on Tuesday and Wednesday, and “Sweet Lavender” will follow on Thursday.


[1898 poster for the Theatre Royal, Hobart, Tasmania.]


Utrechts Nieuwsblad (14 February, 1899 - p.2).


[Click the picture for a readable version of the review (in Dutch).]


The Referee (30 July, 1899 - p.3)

     Now, if Elizabethan students really want a little job of work here is one for them. Next week’s programme for the good old Theatre Royal, Margate, states that “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown” is by Robert Buchanan and Christopher Marlowe. Now, it were a delicate stratagem to unearth the date when “Kit” collaborated in this play. For my part, I should not be surprised to find that investigations would show that at the time this “Miss Brown” play was written Marlowe had three other front names—namely, Charles, Harriet, and J.



News of the World (22 April, 1900 - p.1)


     A pleasant evening’s antertainment was provided at St. George’s Hall, where the members of the Marlowe Dramatic Club gave a performance of “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” a farcical comedy in three acts by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe. It may be remembered that this piece was brought out some years ago at the Vaudeville Theatre, being subsequently transferred to Terry’s. Allowance being made for the non-professional nature of the representation, the piece was well carried through, those most worthy of mention being Miss Jessie Carlyon as Miss Romney, Miss Florence Rex as Angela, Mr. Murray Short as Hibbertson, and Mr. Henry E. King as Captain  Courtenay. “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown” was preceded by Charles Fawcett’s “Our Lottie,” in which Mr. Henry A. King, Miss Maud Drew, and Miss Nora Thorp showed to advantage. A crowded audience received both pieces in a hearty manner.



The Stage (10 May, 1900 - p.14)

     Mr. Frederick Kerr has written a trenchant letter to the editor of the New York Dramatic Mirror in regard to the alleged pirating of The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown in a piece known in America as The Strange Adventures of Miss Blossom, all rights of which are vested in himself. English authors should be obliged to Mr. Kerr for the stand he has taken, as it is evidently his intention to make a test case, and to that end he has placed himself in the hands of Messrs. Howe and Hummel, the well-known theatrical lawyers of New York.



The Globe (19 September, 1901 - p.8)


     “John Durnford, M.P.,” Stuart Ogilvie’s latest play, was performed at the Court Theatre last night for the last time. The management wisely acknowledge that the piece had “failed to attract,” and it is to be followed on Monday by “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown.” It is a little difficult to understand how “John Durnford” came to be produced. A printed copy of it was kindly sent to the critics a day or two before production, and it must have been obvious to all who read it that the work, as it stood, could not give satisfaction. Its very length, the diffuseness of the dialogue, the plethora of details, the lack of a clear sustained interest, the weakness of the title part—all these were obvious in perusal, and were surely obvious at rehearsal. Mr. Kerr, the John Durnford, can hardly have been enamoured of his rôle, for he has never been so ill-fitted in that respect since he made his mark in London. The truth is, of course, that the defects of a play have to be discovered before the actors are engaged and the characters cast. Very rarely have managers had the courage to suppress a piece when once rehearsals have begun.

     “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” which is from the pens of the late Mr. Robert Buchanan and Miss Harriett Jay, first saw the light at the Vaudeville on June 26, 1895, and was transferred in the following October to Terry’s, where it ran till February 8, 1896. That it was a popular success will be well remembered. Mr. Kerr figured in it as a young officer, masquerading as a “Miss Brown” at a girls’ school where his young wife (a ward in Chancery) is a pupil. Miss Palfrey was the wife, Miss M. A. Victor the schoolmistress, and Mr. Lionel Brough a policeman who provided much of the fun. At Terry’s the policeman was played by Mr. Herbert Standing, and the cast also included Miss Filippi and Miss Eva Moore.

     At the Court, the cats of “Miss Brown” will include—in addition to Mr. Herz, who will undertake Mr. Kerr’s original part—Mr. Victor Widdicombe as the policeman, Mr. Stanley Cooke as the music master, Miss Joan Burnett and Miss Mabel Harding as Angela and Euphemia, and Mr. John Beauchamp in his original rôle of the Major.



The Globe (24 September, 1901 - p.6)


     Abandoning for a short time the rather dispiriting quest after attractive novelty, the management of the Court Theatre has fallen back upon “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” a three-act farce by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe, which has already run the gauntlet of public opinion. First produced at the Vaudeville on the 27th June, 1895, this piece, though full of reminiscences of previous works such as “Charley’s Aunt,” obtained a frank success. When now revived it proves to have retained its power to exhilarate an audience, and though played in accentuated style was once more received with laughter and applause. Mr. Frederick Kerr no longer cares to play Captain Courtenay, the dashing young officer who, masquerading as a maiden enters, in pursuit of his amour, a girls’ school, an idea not without suggestions of Boccaccio and Lafontaine. He has found, however, a satisfactory substitute in Mr. R. C. Herz, a young actor coming rapidly to the front, who plays the character with much spirit. Mr. Beauchamp is fortunately available to repeat his fine presentation of Major O’Gallagher, Mr. Victor Widdicombe is now Sergeant Tanner, Mr. H. Nye Chart Mr. Hibbertson the solicitor, and Miss Maryon Griffiths the schoolmistress. The bevy of schoolgirls has for leaders Miss Joan Burnett, who plays with remarkable prettiness, and Miss Mabel Harding. The performance is prefaced by Mr. Robert Ganthony’s humorous entertainment.



The Times (24 September, 1901 - p.4)


     It would be expounding the obvious to give the reasons why actors in petticoats are generally felt to be a nuisance on the stage. The point presented itself only the other day in connexion with a farce now running at the Shaftesbury Theatre. But there are exceptional cases wherein an atmosphere of frank schoolboy fun deodorizes the dangerous subject. Thus there was not a particle of offence in Charley’s Aunt; nor is there a particle in The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown. This farce, written by the late Mr. Robert Buchanan in collaboration with “Charles Marlowe,” was produced at the Vaudeville some half-dozen years ago, had, if we remember rightly, a successful career, and has now been revived at the Court. It is a very slight and unpretentious trifle, which presumably owes its reappearance to the circumstance that the Court managers are in need of a stopgap, and that one of them, Mr. Frederick Kerr, remembers that he once played “Miss Brown” himself. But that was in his salad days, and now he is content to resign the part of the cavalry captain masquerading as a schoolgirl to that versatile young actor Mr. R. C. Hertz, who will, we are sure, be found sufficiently amusing in it by those playgoers whom such things amuse at all. Miss Joan Burnett, who will be remembered for her charming sketch of the little Scotch lassie in The Wedding Guest, plays the gallant captain’s schoolgirl sweetheart; Miss Mabel Hardinge succeeds Miss Esmé Beringer as the passionate young lady from Demerara; and Mr. John Beauchamp resumes his old part of Major O’Gallagher. We give these details pro memoria rather than for their intrinsic importance. The one important point is, as we have said, that the farce is wholly inoffensive; and it was greeted with hearty laughter last night.



The Echo (24 September, 1901)


Without Mr. Kerr at the Court Theatre.

     In place of “John Durnford, M.P.,” his miserable love affair and his tedious politics, comes “Miss Brown” and her “strange adventures,” presumably as a make-shift till Messrs. H. T. Brickwell and Frederick Kerr can find a new play for their Court Theatre enterprise. Six years ago Robert Buchanan and “Charles Marlowe’s” naive farce (obviously suggested by “Charley’s Aunt”)—a record it may be remembered of the experiences of a young officer who married stealthily a ward in Chancery and then, to dodge the police, obtained in feminine guise admission to his school-girl wife’s educational academy—


from unsophisticated playgoers last night on its revival. The play, which has lost none of its broad and extravagant humours, seemed also to have retained its power of amusing popular and, happily, thoughtless tastes. “Miss Brown” may touch rather closely the skirts of impropriety, but after all she affords tolerably innocent diversion. What matters it that Mr. Herz, who now succeeds Mr. Frederick Kerr as the masquerading “Miss Brown,” takes no more trouble than other female impersonators to suggest the voice or


     Over emphasis of awkwardness, constant betrayals of sex, such things, especially if displayed when the impostor is surrounded by a chorus of girls, have a special piquancy for the giggling shop-girl, and even the vacuous man about  town. By contrast with this purely theatrical tour de force, Mr. Beauchamp’s and Mr. Widdicombe’s more plausible sketches of the good-natured Irish major, and the gulled detective, and again Miss Joan Burnett’s decisively natural rendering of the school-girl heroine, appear quite commonplace in their artistic restraint.
                                                                                                                                                         F. G. B.



The Illustrated London News (28 September, 1901 - p.2)


At the Court is revived a farce written by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe, and entitled “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown.” It is a farce replete with the time-honoured humours that follow a necessity on the attempt made by a cavalry officer who has married a ward of Chancery to escape the penalties of his position by passing himself off as a giggling schoolgirl. There is nothing to be said of the piece save that it falls in with the prevailing stage fashion—witness the success of “Charley’s Aunt” and of “Are You a Mason?”; that its heroine is very brightly and naturally played by Miss Joan Burnett; and that Mr. R. C. Herz, who follows Mr. Fred Kerr in the rôle of the masquerading officer, makes not the slightest attempt to suggest femininity either in speech or gait.



The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (28 September, 1901 - p.24)

     John Durnford, M.P., having failed to please his constituents or to give anything like satisfaction to the parliament of playgoers, was summarily dismissed from Court—we should say “the Court”—and on Monday the boards were devoted to a revival of The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown, the amusing comedy by poor Robert Buchanan and “Charles Marlowe,” which had its original production some six years ago at the vaudeville, from which house it was subsequently transferred to Terry’s Theatre. In this piece it will be remembered a certain Captain Courtenay, when he has carried off a boarding school miss—one Angela Brightwell—puts on petticoats in order to elude the officers of the law who went to lay hands on him by order of the Lord Chancellor for marrying one of his wards without consent. The scheme is somewhat risky, but there is no offence in it against good taste, and much fun comes of it. Mr. Fred Kerr, the original representative of Courtenay, has at the Court handed the part over to Mr. R. C. Herz, who plays it only fairly well. Mr. J. Beauchamp repeats his clever impersonation of Major O’Gallagher, the captain’s best friend. The part of Sergeant Tanner, originally filled by Mr. Lionel Brough, is now divertingly taken by Mr. Victor Widdicombe, and that of Courtenay’s rival, Herr Von Moser, the music master, is well handled by Mr. Stanley Cooke. Miss Joan Burnett makes a charming representative of Angela Brightwell; Miss Marjorie Griffiths does well as Miss Romney, of Cicero House Academy, and other characters are ably rendered by Messrs. Paul Vincent and H. Nye Chart, and the Misses Mabel Hardinge and Kate Harwood.



Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper (29 September, 1901 - p.8)

Public Amusements.


     Messrs. Brickwell and Kerr’s revival of that diverting farce, The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown, is excellently timed. There are none too many really funny, and withal perfectly harmless, pieces before the public at present, and the interpretation is as British in spirit as it is in letter. The lengthy run the farce enjoyed six years ago did not take the edge off the series of extravagant situations springing from a schoolgirl, a ward in Chancery, marrying a military swain, and from that swain adopting feminine attire while completing arrangements for removing his young bride from the jealous guardianship of the schoolmistress. The manifold comic details which the late Mr. Robert Buchanan and “Charles Marlowe” embroidered on the main theme still come out sharply and with strength. The confusion of the masquerading Captain Courtenay when the fair pupils of Cicero House Academy gather round and quiz the appearance of the new comer, is illustrated in exactly the right way by Mr. R. C. Herz, who displays much tact in avoiding pitfalls. He acts with animation and humour, but refrains from excess. The stupid police-sergeant who plumes himself upon exceptional astuteness has a very droll representative in Mr. Victor Widdicombe, and Miss Marjorie Griffiths is sufficiently acrid as the schoolmistress. Miss Joan Burnett is alert and piquant as the defiant little heroine. The sentimental schoolgirl with a cold in her head is well played by Miss Kate Harwood, and Mr. John Beauchamp is quite at ease as the excitable but friendly major. From start to finish the performance is irresistibly laughable. Next week the farce will be preceded by Mr. Robert Ganthony’s mirthful recitals, Colby and Way’s ventriloquial and dancing doll act, and by Mdlle. Eugenie Pougčre, the vocalist.


[From the Cass City Chronicle (Michigan) (15 June, 1906).]


The Hastings and St. Leonards Observer (30 March, 1907 - p.4)


     One of the best Companies of comedians we have seen at Hastings Pier for some time is taking part in “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” the well known farcical comedy by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe, which is the fare this week, and which is exciting hearty laughter.
     From the point of pure fun it is easily the best entertainment that Mr. J. D. Hunter has given us for many a long day, and there is one continual shriek of merriment during the whole evening. There is not one dull moment from the time the gallant Captain Courtenay brings his blushing bride Angelina Brightwell to the quarters of Major O’Gallagher on her wedding day and onwards throughout the next two acts, when Captain Courtenay (in order to obtain access to his wife who is a ward in chancery, and has been sent off to a boarding school) disguises himself as Miss Brown, and becomes a pupil of Miss Romney’s Academy, Cicero House, with the final triumph of the happy pair at the end of the play, but not before they have had to undergo many adventures which are all very funny.
     The sight of Mr. J. D. Hunter masquerading as a girl is enough to cure anyone of the blues, and his adventures with the pupils of the college serves to send the audience into roars of laughter. The popular comedian’s portrayal of Captain Courtenay could not well be improved, and as a fun provider he would take a great deal of beating. A capital performance is that of Major O’Gallagher by Mr. Herbert Maule. This clever actor makes his re-appearance on the Pier after an absence of some years, and his impersonation of the Irishman is excellent in every way. The laughter makers this week are so strong that it is really unfair to praise one more than another. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Maule are most ably supported by Mr. Charles Lloyd, who gives a capital realisation of the detective, Sergeant Tanner, who has some very good scenes of which he takes full advantage, and reveals himself as the owner of a neat dry humour which is inimitable. mention should also be made of Mr. Charles Hawker as Mr. Hibbertson, and of Mr. W. Howell Seguin as Herr Von Moser.
     Of the ladies, Miss Violet Graham is a charming Angelina Brightwell, Miss Eva Bayley is as good as ever as Miss Romney, and the Misses Violet Agnew, Rene Ashley, Evelyn Ashley, and Maisie Ashley distinguish themselves as pupils at the Academy, and Miss Blanche Bayley as Miss O’Gallagher.
     There will be a matinee to-day (Saturday), in addition to the evening performances.
     Next week the attraction will be the popular drama, “After Dark.”



The Taunton Courier (2 September, 1908 -  p.4)

     “THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF MISS BROWN,”—The amusing farcical comedy, the part author of which (in collaboration with the late Robert Buchanan) is Charles Marlowe, at present familiar to theatre-goers as the writer of “When Knights were Bold,” is announced by advertisement in another column to visit the London Assembly-rooms on Thursday (to-morrow) and Friday, September 3rd and 4th. “Miss Brown” attained a long run a few years ago in London, first at Terry’s Theatre and subsequently at The Court Theatre, and was at the time considered the most successful and humorous play then running. Miss Brown is the name assumed by a young Army officer, who, by donning feminine attire, gains admittance as a pupil to a young ladies’ school. Many extremely funny situations occur, and the dialogue is of that crisp and sparkling variety which so distinguishes Charles Marlowe’s latest work. The play will be presented by a well-organised and capable company.—Seats may be booked and reserved at Mr. F. W. Baker’s music warehouse, Fore-street.



[I came across this programme (dated 11th March, 1911) on the Brooklyn Academy of Music site. It’s for a performance of The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown, with an all-male cast, at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, New York.


The Sun (New York) (18 May, 1919 - p.8)

     The theatre ideas which are destined to survive throughout a long period never seem so striking when they are divulged for the first time. It is not possible to say—unless this superior power of divination may be possessed by some of the elect—that this story or this theme is destined to uncommon longevity. Take for instance “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown.” When that farce was seen here some thirty years ago the excitement was not uncontrollable. Robert Buchanan had written the play for his sister-in-law, Harriet Jay, although he probably was not altogether unmindful of the popularity of “Charley’s Aunt.” In London the success of the play was greater than it has ever been here.
     But the young man who disguised himself as a girl and got into a boarding school keeps cropping up with the certainty of fate. Here is Anne Caldwell making “She’s a Good Fellow” out of the same material, which after all these years shows no sign of wearing out its usefulness. Probably twenty years from now playwrights will be helping themselves as liberally as of yore to the Buchanan farce. In its latest previous incarnation the sudden disappearance of the play which contained the idea was attributed to a legal objection to the too liberal helping from the drama that the author of a new version allowed himself. This piece, acted at a theatre now destroyed in the northward progress of coats and suits, was designed to reveal a performer inflamed with the artistic purpose of tearing from his brow the borrowed laurels of Julian Eltinge. His lofty aim was thwarted and the end of the play was brought about by the law.
     The constant use of this old theme is interesting in view of the little attention that such ideas attract when they are first divulged — or at all events put for the first time before the observation of a new generation. Probably nobody who saw that first performance of “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown” at the old Standard Theatre discerned in the plan of the play a degree of vitality that would keep it alive during all these theatre years. Yet it has repeatedly served playwrights before Miss Caldwell exhibited her 1918 model. Miss Caldwell, moreover, lays a pretty sprig of forget-me- not on the author’s tomb when she keeps her hero in uniform. This polite attention may be understood on the ground of respect. It is not so simple to penetrate the significance of the joke about Pepita Mosquita. Is it really in the text in order that one of the characters may say somebody is going to be “stung”?


[Advert for the St. Leonards Palace Pier from The Hastings and St. Leonards Observer
(14 October, 1922 -  p.1). Click the image for the full advert.]


The Stage (17 September, 1925 - p.4)

(From Our Own Correspondent.)

     OSBORNE (P., W. H. Broadhead and Son; A.M., Robt. Sharples; Mus. D., Jos. Hartley).—The resident stock company are this week presenting “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown.” Major O’Gallagher has a soldierly exponent in Atholl Douglas. Harry J. Clifford invests the rôle of Capt. Courtenay with a military air. Ethel Bracewell scores as Angela Brightwell. Matilda Jones is smartly played by Violet Ingram. Miss Romney has a successful representative in Madge Trevelyan. Good support comes from the remaining members of the cast.



Gloucester Journal (9 July, 1927 - p.14)

Gloucester Amusements.


     Next week, “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe (with apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), will be presented by The Denville Players at the Hippodrome. This comedy is considered by many people as funnier than “Charley’s Aunt.” It deals with Capt. Charles Courtney (Len Lauri), who marries by stealth Angela Brightwell (Marjorie Denville), a ward in Chancery. Miss Flora McDowell, Miss Helen Tait, Miss Barbara Overthrow, Miss Grace Partridge, and other local ladies will appear in the cast.



The Stage (22 March, 1928 - p.25)

     FLEETWOOD—PALACE.—A large audience thoroughly enjoyed the humour of “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” presented by Harry Clifford’s Repertory Players on Monday. Mr. Clifford, as the Cavalry Officer who resorts to female impersonation, caused roars of laughter, and other parts were well sustained by Bartlett Garth, Gypsy Alexander, Fred Granville, Douglas Ives, Kathleen Saintsbury, and Fred Granville.



In 1935 a musical adaptation of The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown was produced in London’s West End. Further details, including the programme, are available below:


Tulip Time


The Derby Daily Telegraph (12 May, 1938 - p.4)



     St. Augustine’s Church Amateur Dramatic Society gave their first full-length production at the Sons of Temperance Hall, Derby, last night.
     The play chosen was “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” a farcical comedy in three acts by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe.
     Although the Society has not been long in existence, the players, without exception, gave sound performances. Jack Sant as Captain Courtney and Doris Randall as Angela Brightwell being outstanding.
     Several of the smaller parts were also well taken. Ernest Hill gave a clever study as Herr von Mozer, and Beatrice Young in the part of Miss Romney presented an amusing characterisation.



The Stage (26 June, 1952 - p.10)



     It must be a headache to those responsible for the organising of student shows to select a play or series of short plays or sketches which will condense into three short hours the syllabus of years of concentrated training.
     At the Chanticleer on June 18, students of the Webber-Douglas School gave a brave interpretation of “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown,” by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe. Those taking part realised that farce must be played poker-faced and the lines delivered with delicacy and naturalism. This particular piece involves the struggles of a young man who marries a ward in Chancery without authoritative consent and his efforts to escape with his bride to the Continent. Of course, everyone tries to prevent him, and as the authorities insist upon the bride returning to the Young Ladies’ Academy of which she is a pupil, complications are bound to set in, until there is nothing left but for the young man to dress up as a young lady and repair to the Academy in order to see his wife. Stuart Hutchison and Ann Courtneidge were as engaging a pair of elopers as it would be possible to meet, and others contributing to the fun were Bernard Horsfall, Anne Elliott, Nicholas Courtney, John Lorrimer, Grania Gerard, and Angela Shaw. The play was produced by Ellen O’Malley.
     The farce was preceded by the first act of “Bitter Harvest,” by Catherine Turney, in which the young Byron and his half-sister discover a hopeless passion for each other. It provided ample opportunities for dramatic acting. The diction was clear in both pieces. Notable were Francis Ward as Byron and Patricia Butt as his half-sister, Jeanette Hutchinson and Yvonne Jean. The play was produced by Dorothy Black.



The Stage (23 October, 1958 - p.17)

Christmas Musical
     “The Amazing Adventures of Miss Brown”, adapted by Peggy Ann Wood as a musical from the original farce by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe, is to begin a six-week run at the Little, Bristol, on December 23. Originally called “The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown”, this famous farce was seen at Terry’s in 1895. The Rapier Players will be joined by John Baddeley and Anthony Collin in this Christmas production.



The Stage (1 January, 1959 - p.12)


FOR the second year in succession, Miss Peggy Ann Wood has set a Victorian play to music of the period for the Rapier Players’ Christmas production at the Little.
     This time her adaptation is from a farce of the Gay Nineties, “The Amazing Adventures of Miss Brown,” by Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe, a light-hearted affair of a runaway marriage. The fun is at the expense of the bridegroom, Captain Courtenay, who finds himself disguised as a pupil in an academy for young ladies, where the presence of a man is enough to give the headmistress the vapours and send the girls into ecstasies.
     Miss Wood has skilfully integrated the music, using songs that the older generation may recall singing round the piano, and some that have survived to be just as familiar today.
     With some original dresses of the period, attractive sets, and a company with voices to do justice to the songs, it all adds up to a gay family entertainment, and Miss Wood is to be congratulated on enabling her audience to laugh with the period rather than at it.
     Each member of the company, including the troupe of pretty schoolgirls, makes a full contribution to the fun. As Captain Courtenay, John Baddeley is responsible for much of the comedy and comes through with flying colours, particularly when disguised as Miss Brown from Portsmouth, who must surely be a niece of Charley’s Aunt from Brazil.
     Sharing the honours are Anthony Collin as the representative of the law, Janice Cook as sweet Angela, the runaway bride; Celia Ryder as the headmistress, Miss Romney, and Elizabeth Boxer as one of the more forward schoolgirls, Euphemia Schwarz, although the success of the production springs very much from team spirit.

[Note: The full cast list from the production is available on the Theatricalia site. It includes that ill-fated starlet from the 60s and 70s, Imogen Hassall.]



Next: The Romance of the Shopwalker (1896)

Back to the Bibliography, Plays, Harriett Jay Theatre Reviews or Buchanan’s Music








The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law


The Critical Response
Harriett Jay


Site Diary
Site Search