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John Leigh, a painter in London, is living a wonderful life. He’s married to a loving woman, Mary, and has two precocious children, Willie and Maud. However, as Mrs. Bolton Jones tries to wedge her way into the aristocratic upper circles that the Leigh’s enjoy, Mr. Leigh’s world takes a turn for the worse. In essence, Mary Leigh is not just haunted, but also hunted by her past, which puts the love of the entire family to the test. As Mrs. Bolton Jones tries to manipulate the unfortunate circumstances to her advantage, the surprises continue up until the last moments of the production!
Hunted Down, also known as The Two Lives of Mary Leigh, opened in London at the St. James’s Theater on November 5, 1866. The production was a smashing success not just Boucicault, who proved that he had his finger on the pulse of London and the drama of the time, but also for the actor Henry Irving. Irving, who had languished in obscurity prior to Hunted Down, had the opportunity to portray Rawdon Scudamore, and received great praise and adoration for his portrayal. He would never be obscure again. The opening of Hunted Down was a star studded affair, with the likes of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, George Henry Lewes, and the founder of the National Gallery, Lord Stanhope, in attendance. The friendship forged between Boucicault and Irving would continue until Boucicault’s death. Hunted Down ran at St. James’s for four months until February, 1867.
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