Frederick Pilon

Life
1750-1788; b. Cork; actor-playwright; plays incl. The Invasion (1778); The Fair American (1782); anon, The Drama (1755), poem; also farces and musical pieces, incl. The Liverpool Prize (1779), and The Siege of Gibraltar (1780); He Would be a Soldier (London 1780), com.; d. Lon., bur. Lambeth. RR ODNB PI DIW.

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Commentary
Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (1946), Frederick Pilon 1750-1788; 13 pieces, mostly farces; The Invasion or A Trip to Brighthelmstone (CG 4 Nov 1778) 1788; The Liverpool Prize (CG 22 Feb 1779) 1779, repeated 17 times; Illumination or The Glazier’s Conspiracy, prelude (CG 12 April 1779) 1799, 8 nights, concerning acquittal of Admiral Keppel; Thedevice or The Deaf Doctor (CG 27 Sept 1779) Larpent MS, revised as The Deaf Lover (CG 2 Fe 1780); The Siege of Gibraltar, op. farce (CG 25 Apr 1780 and 5 nights) 1780, mus. William Shield; The Humours of an Election (CG 19 Oct 1780, and 14 nights), formerly acted as The Close of the Poll, or The Humours of an Election; Thelyphthora or More Wives than One, farce (CG 8 Mar 1781, 2 nights), ridiculing Dr Martin Madan’s Thelphthora, an apology for polygamy; The Fair American, com. op. (DL 18 May 1782, and 7 nights) 1785, plag. from Hull’s alteration of Sir Samuel Tuke’s Adventures of Five Hours, with mus. by T. Carter; Aerostation or the Templar’s Stratagem (CG 29 Oct 1784) 1784, a satire on balloons; Barataria or Sancho Turn’d Governor (CG 29 Mar 1785) 1793, became a stock piece, based on Durfey’s plays on Don Quixote; All’s Well that Ends Well (Hay 26 July 1785), unprinted alteration of Shakespeare; He Would be a Soldier, com. (CG 18 Nov 1786; 23 nights in the season) 1786; unfinished com. The Ward in Chancery, possibly finished as The Toy or Hampton Court Frolics, by John O’Keeffe, though this is denied by the latter in Recollections.

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References
Dictionary of National Biography, actor and dramatist, first appeared Edinburgh, and drifted to London to write clever ephemeral plays after 1778. He Would be a Soldier achieved considerable success in Covent Garden (premier 18 Nov. 1786). Earlier successes include The Invasion, or a Trip to Brighthelmstone (1778). NOTE PI, d. London, April 1779. See Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.464.

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Notes
Brief reference to The Siege of Gibraltar (1780) in Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fior-Ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression Prior To The Nineteenth Century (Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Pub. Co. 1986).

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