The Orphan


The Orphan or The Unhappy Marriage is a domestic tragedy, written by Thomas Otway in 1680. It was first produced at the Dorset Garden Theatre, and starred Elizabeth Barry as Monimia, Thomas Betterton as Castalio, Thomas Gillow as Acasto, John Wiltshire as Paulino, Henry Norris as Ernesto, William Smith as Chamont, Thomas Percival as Chaplain, Margaret Osborne as Florella and Joseph Williams as Polydore. It precedes Venice Preserv'd and is therefore the first of Otway's two famous tragedies. Written in blank verse, it is the play that made Otway famous. The Orphan remained a stock piece on the stage until the 19th century. Thomas Otway was purported to have been deeply in love with Mrs. Barry, and it has been suggested that this play was inspired by this unrequited love.
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