Afrikaanse Koffiehuis

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("The Afrikaans Coffee-house" - Also called the Afrikanerkoffiehuis by Binge, 1969).

An intimate venue, described as "cool, well lit and comfortably furnished" by the Burger of 4 October 1915, though Bosman (1928) differed later, calling it "utterly unsuitable". It opened in 1916, in what had formally been the Playhouse Theatre (and before that the Hollandsche Kerk Zaal on Kerkplein).

The venue of "konserte" (revues, called Koffiehuis Konserte), plays, etc over many years. Also the gathering place of Afrikaner intellectuals, artists and politicians. E.g in October 1924 the Nederlandse Kunst-klub produced a little play 't Model there. Used regularly by the Oranjeklub for its charity performances in the 1920s and in August 1926 an Afrikaanse Toneelvereniging was founded there and performed in the venue (as well as others) over the years. Its first play there was Die Spioen en sy Handlanger ("The Spy and his Sidekick") in 1927.

The use of this type of venue was quite usual at the time in South Africa, probably due to the lack of other suitable venues. Despite its manifest shortcomings as a stage for formal theatrical presentations, it became the preferred venue for the Kaapstadse Afrikaanse Toneelvereniging (K.A.T.) from 1934 to 1940.


Binge, 1969; Du Toit, 1988 [TH, JH]

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