Edgar Perkins

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Edgar Perkins was a theatre manager and director, originally based in the Transvaal in the late 19th century.


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

Originally based in the Transvaal, Perkins founded The Edgar Perkins Lyric Opera Company (also referred to simply as The Edgar Perkins Opera Company) in 1888, and for a while performing only there. In 1890 however, he took his company to Cape Town for a season of light opera in the Exhibition Theatre. (For the company and repertoires, see The Edgar Perkins Lyric Opera Company.)

In 1893 Perkins joined forces with A. Bonamici, the lessee of the newly built Opera House in Cape Town, renaming the company The Lyric Opera Company and once more undertaking an extensive programme of light comic opera as well as traditional operatic works. (See the entry on The Lyric Opera Company.)

According to D.C. Boonzaier (1923), reporting on the 1890 Cape Town season, Perkins had "very artistic ideas in the direction of mise-en-scène" and his operas were staged "lavishly in regard to scenery and costume".


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. 389-390

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