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In the autumn of 1899, Gilbert wrote to Helen D'Oyly Carte saying he had "a wonderfully good & fresh idea for a libretto." The "idea" became the short story "The Fairy's Dilemma" which appeared in "The Graphic" Christmas Number, but it did not achieve dramatic form until 1904 when Gilbert turned the idea into a play for Arthur Bourchier's company.

It opened at the Garrick Theatre on 3rd May 1904 with Bourchier and his wife, Violet Vanbrugh, in the cast and achieved a run of 90 performances before being withdrawn on 22nd July.

The Fairy's Dilemma Postcard
Principal characters in The Fairy's Dilemma.

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