Story: Plays and playwrights

Lancelot Booth's farewell benefit, 1872

English-born Lancelot Booth had migrated to New Zealand by 1871 and was a prolific writer and performer of stage productions. This advertisement from the Evening Star (later called the Auckland Star) of 4 March 1872 announces a 'farewell benefit' performance of his play Guided by public opinion. This was followed by an extract from an earlier Booth play, Crime in the clouds, in which Booth himself played Major Gustavus von Tempsky, who was killed in action in Taranaki in 1868. Booth and others then performed his 'amusing sketch', Formosa married. In 1876 Booth moved to Australia, where he continued to write and perform into the 20th century.

Using this item

National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: The Evening Star, 4 March 1872, p. 3

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Murray Edmond, 'Plays and playwrights - First New Zealand plays', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 July 2020)

Story by Murray Edmond, published 22 Oct 2014