The reason why Moore chose Esther Waters rather than one of his lesser known novels (which he might have been able to promote that way) to be adapted for the stage may have been its "Englishness". The subject-matter of Esther Waters was the most "English" of his novels, and Moore had just returned to England after abandoning his brief interest in the Irish Renaissance theatre movement. 1911, then, saw the première, at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End, of Esther Waters: a play in five acts, which Moore had adapted from his own novel. Although it did not receive good reviews, Moore was pleased with the production. In 1913 Heinemann published the playscript.
There are, however, two more versions of the play. One was the result of an unsuccessful collaboration, in 1922, between Moore and theatre critic Barrett H. Clark; a third version of the play was written by Clark in the same year, but never performed. The two 1922 versions were first published in 1984. Esther Waters was filmed in 1948 by Ian Dalrymple and Peter Proud with Kathleen Ryan (in the title role), Dirk Bogarde (as William Latch), Cyril Cusack, Ivor Barnard and Fay Compton. It was partly filmed at Folkington Manor, East Sussex. Two television dramas (miniseries) were produced in 1964 and 1977 respectively.