Paul Buczkowski


One of the most overlooked playwrights of Victorian Britain, J. R. Planché, worked throughout his career to adapt French fairy romances to the English stage. Despite general success, his greatest triumph came late in his career, when he first worked with Frederick Robson. The latter’s capacity to portray a range of emotions allowed Planché to dramatize both the humorous and disturbing elements of Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy’s “Le nain jaune” (“The Yellow Dwarf”) and Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier de Villandon’s “L’adroite princesse” (“The Discreet Princess”). Their collaboration lasted less than four years, but pushed Planché’s burlesque art to achievements later critics compared to the work of W. S. Gilbert.