The Scarlet Pimpernel is a classic play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, set during the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution. It was first produced as a record-breaking play in an adaptation by Julia Neilson and Fred Terry. The play first opened on 15 October 1903 at Nottingham's Theatre Royal; it was not a success. But Terry had confidence in the play and, with a rewritten last act, he took it to London where it opened at the New Theatre on 5 January 1905. The standing ovation of the first night audience proved him right, but the critics were unimpressed. The London critics criticized it as old-fashioned. Despite that, the play became a popular success. It began a run of 122 performances and numerous revivals, becoming a favourite of the London audiences - playing more than 2000 performances, one of the most popular shows ever staged in an English theatre. The novel was published soon after the play's opening and was an immediate success. Orczy gained a following of readers in England and throughout the world. With the demand high, she wrote a number of sequels over the next 35 years. - Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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December 15, 2009
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