silverwhistle (silverwhistle) wrote in ruritania,

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Illustrated Souvenir of 1896 stage production

I now have a copy of the illustrated souvenir of the 1896 stage production of Prisoner of Zenda, starring George Alexander and Evelyn Millard. I shall scan and post in due course. There are some hilarious moustaches, notably on Fritz and Rupert, of the sharply angled Kaiser Wilhelm II variety.

But what is notable about the Edward Rose stage version is the inclusion of a prologue set in the 1730s, with Rassendyll's ancestors. From the snippet of script included, and what I've read elsewhere about the play, Crown Prince Rudolf (played by the lead) seems to be depicted as a 'goodie', not merely a raffish young seducer, while Amelia's husband is a villain in league with Rudolf's bad cousin Duke Wolfgang, the first 'Black Elphberg' (played by the actor who later plays Michael). Indeed, from what I've read about the Rose stage version (I haven't read the full script, so please correct me if I'm wrong), I think he depicts Michael as a descendant of Wolfgang's rival branch of Elphbergs, not as Rudolf's morganatic younger half-brother.
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