The Hooligan by W. S. Gilbert
THE HOOLIGAN was named by W. S. Gilbert as "A Sketch in One Act." Gilbert's last dramatic efforts, THE HOOLIGAN and TRYING A DRAMATIST were included in the 1911 first edition Original Plays, Fourth Series. They were withdrawn and then reinserted in the 1920 and following editions. These two efforts have since been on the list of Gilbert authored plays.
They were made available by Lucy Gilbert after his death on May 29, 1911 to The Century Magazine, an American publication; THE HOOLIGAN was apparently edited so that original English spelling, such as "favour" became "favor". It is also possible that some of the hooligan Solly's words were re-spelled for the benefit of the American audience. This editor has concluded that Lucy Gilbert sent one of her husband's personal copies to The Century Magazine. A different copy was used by publisher Chatto & Windus for inclusion in Original Plays, Fourth Series. This editor cannot determine the order of these items, nor what Gilbert's final intent had been.
The following play uses the Original Plays spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. The wordings of the two versions are very close. Where there is a difference the Original Plays version is in bold and the Century Magazine version is underlined. This presentation is intended to make it easy to follow the version of the Original Plays as this has the most common circulation.
It is difficult to scan Solly's dialogue because Gilbert had written to simulate English Cockney pronunciation and had also used many slang expressions. In response, this editor has produced a Reading Copy, starting on page 12. The spelling and grammar has been corrected, and the slang has been upgraded. It is suggested that a reader unfamiliar with THE HOOLIGAN may wish to begin on page 12.
The Hooligan has been included in the book Five W. S. Gilbert Plays. A printed copy of the book may be purchased at www.LULU.com/shop
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