English Amateur Company

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The English Amateur Company is a somewhat generic name, which was often used by newspapers and other sources in Cape Town in the 19th century, to refer to any company performing in English. However there are specific cases where this seems to have been the name chosen by the company.

The new English Amateur Company in Cape Town 1830-1833

This is apparently one of the names used to refer to Mr H. Booth's venture, also known as the new British Amateur Company or by its motto as All the World's a Stage.

See All the World's a Stage

The English Amateur Company in Cape Town 1837

The name occurs briefly in 1837, with reference to a company of civilian amateurs which had up till then been called the Private Amateur Company (otherwise also referred to as the Private Amateur Party).

See Private Amateur Company

The English Amateur Company in Cape Town 1851-1853

More specifically it appears to have been the name of a company founded after W.F.H. Parker's New English Theatrical Company (active in the years 1847-1852), had ceased to exist, and was then replaced by a company founded by some of the members of the former group and initially they performed in the Garrison Theatre with the help officers of the garrison. Later, they possibly broke away from the officers, but took in members of James Lycett's disbanded company, to perform plays in the revitalized Garrison Theatre in Cape Town. They were also referred to as The Amateurs of Cape Town.

Their performances included Caesar de Bazan, or Love and Honour (Webster and Boucicault) and Thimble Rig (Buckstone) on 3 December 1851; The Golden Farmer, or The Last Crime (Benjamin Webster) and How to Pay the Rent (Tyrone Power) on 3 September 1852; Luke the Labourer, or The Lost Son (Buckstone) and Grimshaw, Bagshaw and Bradshaw (Morton) on 19 October 1852, repeated on 24 October.


F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp. 207, 416-423;

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