Edward Sass

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Edward Sass (1858-1916) was an actor-manager


Born on 12 January, 1858 in London, England,

He became an actor, later also managing his own company, taking plays on tour, also to the colonies.

His film work included Henry VIII (1911), The Broken Melody (1916) and The Heart of a Child (1915).

Sass married the actress Emma Gwynne Putney in 1886, and they had one child. He died on 15 November, 1916 in New Malden, Surrey, England.

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

In 1895 he brought the Edward Sass Gaiety Company to South Africa to perform a number of plays under the auspices of the Wheeler Theatre Company, inter alia opening at the Opera House, Cape Town, on 1 June. Other company members, besides Sass himself, included James Nelson, J.H. Darnley, J.B. Gordon, Emma Glynne and Ada Logan. Their repertoire included The New Woman (Grundy), Doctor Bill (Carré /Aidé), The Case of Rebellious Susan (Jones), Liberty Hall (Dibdin), The Solicitor (Darnley), The Masqueraders (Jones), The Second Mrs Tanqueray (Pinero) and The Bauble Shop (Jones).

According to Boonzaier (1923), Sass was an admirable actor and excellent manager, most punctilious about the mise-en-scène of his productions, one "who afterwards played a prominent part in several South African theatrical enterprises".

The Sass and Nelson Musical Comedy Company

Also known as the Sass-Nelson Company, the Sass and Nelson Company or simply as Sass and Nelson.

In subsequent tours the company appears to have been named after the two prioncipal actors, Edward Sass and James Nelson.

Among the works done by the company Boonzaier (1923), lists Old Heidelberg (Meyer-Förster/Bleichmann)




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 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp.

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

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