Emilie Bevan Comedy Company

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The Emilie Bevan Comedy Company was a theatre company active in Cape Town between 1892 and 1894.

The company had been founded, and was managed, by the actress-manager Emilie Bevan, who had taken a lease on The Vaudeville Theatre in Cape Town, and began a successful season of a little over three and a half months there on 8 August, 1892.

The remarkably extensive repertoire of this first season consisted of The Old Love and the New (Howard/Albery), The Silver King (Jones and Herman), The English Rose (Sims and Buchanan), Jane (Nicholls and Lestocq), The Bells of Haslemere (Pettitt and Grundy), The Profligate (Pinero), The Lights o' London (Sims), Sweet Lavender (Pinero), Moths (Ouida), The Late Lamented (Bison/Horner), The Magistrate (Pinero), Diplomacy (Sardou/Rowe & Rowe), Held by the Enemy (Gillette), Judah (Jones), In His Power (Quinton), The Colleen Bawn (Boucicault), The Private Secretary (Hawtrey) and Struck Oil (Anon.).

According to D.C. Boonzaier (1923), "The work naturally lacked finish in many instances, but there remained much that was highly creditable to the young manageress" (Bosman, 1980: p. 395)

The company made a return in April 1893 with a shorter season at the Vaudeville Theatre that included Niobe (Paulton and Paulton), Betsy (Burnand) and The Pink Dominoes (Hennequin and Delacour/Alberry).

In 1894 Bevan and her company played at the Opera House, Cape Town (her first and last appearance there). The repertoire this time included Is She Guiltless? (Anon.), A Man's Shadow (Mary and Grisier/Buchanan) and The Mother-in-Law (Sims).


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, 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 394-5, 398.

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