John O'Keeffe: Wild Oats

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Wild Oats, a five-act comedy written in 1791 by the Irish-English playwright John O’Keeffe, was the most popular non-musical on the London stage that year (Hogan, et. al., 1970, vol. 2, 1281–2; 1342; 1383-4). Its popularity continued into the nineteenth century, as it was performed in both Britain and America as a familiar part of the repertory – familiar enough for Charles Dickens to refer to it as still active in the theatre depicted in Nicholas Nickleby, when Mr. Vincent Crummles advises Nicholas as follows: “Rover too; – you might get up Rover while you were about it…” (Dickens, 1839, Chapter 23). Considering that O’Keeffe was the most produced playwright on the London stage in the last quarter of the …

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Swanson, Michael. "Wild Oats". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 July 2012
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]