Charles Arnold

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Charles Arnold (fl. 1900) was a Anglo-Dutch actor-manager


He was an actor at the Strand Theatre London and the founder-manager of the touring company that would become known as Charles Arnold's English Comedy Company.

Arnold became famous as member of the original London cast of What Happened to Jones? (Broadhurst), playing the leading role of "Jones" when it opened in London, taking it and a number of other plays on international tours with cast members from the theatre, in 1885-6 and again 1900-1902, now under the company name of Charles Arnold's English Comedy Company[1]. They visited the various colonies, and were particularly popular in Australia.

Among the standard plays in the company's repertoire were Captain Fritz (Hamilton), An Empty Stocking (Wright), What Happened to Jones (Broadhurst), The Professor's Love Story (), Hans the Boatman (Greene), Why Smith Left Home () and The Grey Parrot ().

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

In 1895 he first visited South Africa with Hans, the Boatman (Greene), My Sweetheart (Maeder and Gill) and Captain Fritz (Hamilton).

In 1900 Arnold brought the touring company of What Happened to Jones to South Africa, playing at the Opera House Cape Town in January of 1900. Also played on this tour were Hans, the Boatman (Greene), Captain Fritz (Hamilton) and The Amazons (Pinero).


"An Empty Stocking / What Happened to Jones", AusStage[2]

"Charles Arnold's English Comedy Company", AusStage[3]

"Charles Arnold", AusStage[4]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 402, 407

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