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After All

Written by

Composed by

I. Introduction
II. Review from The Times
III. Libretto [PDF, 116KB]
IV. Web Opera — All the music and dialogue of this piece.
V. Frank Desprez


First performed at the Opera Comique from 16th or 23rd December 1878 to 20th February 1880, as an afterpiece to H.M.S. Pinafore and was given on the famous night of the riots. It then accompanied the "Children's Pinafore" until 20th March 1880.

The piece contains only 4 songs, all of which were separately published (by Metzler) and are in the British Library. The libretto is not in the British Library (indeed there are hardly any libretti of Frank Desprez there) and no copy of it is in the Lord Chamberlain's collection. After writing unsuccessfully to a number of public libraries in Britain, Walters had come to the conclusion that the libretto had never been published and was certainly lost, then Victor Golding produced a copy of it, bound into an old volume of separately published plays.

Original Cast

PENNYFATHER Rutland Barrington
SELWORTHY Richard Temple
MARIA Jessie Bond
(i.e., Jennie Sullivan, the composer's cousin)

The offstage voice is not mentioned after the first few weeks or months of the run. Jessie Bond in her autobiography mentions her spoonerism "The missus is having such a cow with the rabman," which comes from this piece.

On the programme illustrated between pages 38 and 39 of Adair-Fitzgerald (no date, but presumably after August 1879, q.v. under Cups and Saucers), After All is given as an after-piece (Cups and Saucers being the curtain raiser), with the following cast:

PENNYFATHER Frank Thornton
SELWORTHY Richard Temple
MARIA Julia Gwynne

Julia Gwynne probably replaced Jessie Bond after July 1879 when the latter was on leave for 3 months and then went to America with the "Pirates" Company. George Temple later replaced Richard Temple (date not specified)

Revived at the Savoy 23rd November 1895 to 4th March 1896 and 4th April to 8th August 1896 (a total of 198 performances) as companion-piece to The Grand Duke and the revivals of The Mikado which preceded and followed it. The cast was:

PENNYFATHER Charles Herbert Workman 1
SELWORTHY Jones Hewson
MARIA Emmie Owen 2

Revived at the Haymarket Theatre for one matinee performance on 16 December 1895, with the cast:

PENNYFATHER Rutland Barrington
SELWORTHY Jones Hewson
MARIA Emmie Owen

Revived at the Savoy 7 May to 16 June 1897 during the first revival of The Yeomen of the Guard for 35 performances:

PENNYFATHER Charles Herbert Workman
SELWORTHY Jones Hewson
MARIA Beatrice Perry

It was the most durable of the supporting pieces, being performed on tour on numerous occasions. It is first recorded in 1879, with Richard Cummings, Michael Dwyer and Haidee Crofton, and was frequently played with H.M.S. Pinafore in the early days. It was revived on tour in 1898 with Buchanan Wake, Percy Carrington and Alice Pennington, again at Christmas 1898 (cast unknown), and again in 1908 with Allen Morris, Sydney Granville and Elsie Carey. The last performance we have so far traced was in Dublin on 20 April 1909, with Allen Morris, Fred Pattrick and Godwynne Loraine. This makes it the last work by neither Gilbert nor Sullivan to be performed by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company; unless one includes William Douglas Home's short piece performed on the night of the Trial by Jury centenary, but we don't!

Performed at the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, London, on 11 May 1994, with cast:

PENNYFATHER Michael Walters
SELWORTHY Christopher Gutteridge
THE MAID Melanie McRae


Selworthy returns from many years in the Americas to seek his youthful sweetheart Perdita, and calls upon his old pal Pennyfather only to discover that Perdita is now Mrs. Pennyfather. He is heartbroken, but on learning from his friend what a hen-pecking, overbearing and over-weight woman his sweetheart has now become, realises that he has had a lucky escape.

Page modified 20 January, 2010
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