John O'Keeffe: Wild Oats

(1791 words)

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 s…

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Swanson, Michael. "Wild Oats". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 July 2012
[, accessed 31 January 2015.]