Despite its earlier publication in 1870, this dramatic version of the book  had originally been conceived for the stage.  The play opened under the direction of the Bancrofts at The Prince of Wales Theatre on 22 February 1873.  The first night was eagerly awaited, with speculators selling tickets for up to five guineas, and proved 'an extraordinary success.'  The play ran for one hundred and thirty-six performances, until August 1873, and was seen several times by members of the royal family.  The London run was followed by a successful provincial tour.  Man and Wife was revived at The Haymarket in 1887.  [ Cast list ]

Man and WIfe at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

Programme for the 1873 production at the Prince of Wales Theatre


Cora Brown Potter - Anne Silvester in the 1887 revival


In England, Man and Wife: A Dramatic Story in Four Acts was 'published by the author' in 1870 (1 vol, 152 pp, tan paper wrappers).  An American pirated version by H. A. Webber was issued as Number 4 in Ames' Series of Standard and Minor Drama, Clyde, Ohio, 1873.  Collins was probably unaware of the play's first production at the Green Bay Opera House, Wisconsin, on 8 January 1870.  At New York's Fifth Avenue Theatre, Augustin Daly staged his own version which ran for ten weeks from 13 September 1870.

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