French Theatre

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The notion French Theatre occurs in a number of meanings, in various combinations.

French Theatre as a genre

French Theatre can imply the Theatre of France[1] or it can mean Theatre in the French Language, i.e theatre written and performed in French anywhere in the world, including the former French colonial empire and the Francophone countries in the Caribbean and Africa.

See the overview entry French Theatre in South Africa

French Theatre as the name for a company and/or venue

References to a French Theatrical Company, French Theatre Company, French Amateur Company, etc appear in a number of sources over the course of the first half of the 18th century in Southern Africa, or in various Dutch and Afrikaans versions of the name ( Den Franschen Schouwburg, etc) .

For the individual companies and venues, see the list under French Theatre in South Africa

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F.C.L. Bosman, 1928[2]: p. 277 [[ Jill Fletcher]], 1994

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In 1808-1809 a group of amateur and professional players, apparently referred to as the "French Theatrical Company", produced a number of French works, including Les Plaideurs (Racine), Le Petit Matelot, ou Le Mariage Impromptu (Pigault Lebrun),

A French Theatre company reported by “Sam Sly” to have opened the Drury Lane Theatre on Constitution Hill in Cape Town on June 19th, 1848, with “tragic Scenes, Vaudevilles, and Interludes of music and dancing”. May have been Dalle Case and the company from Mauritius which was billed as "French Dramatic Artistes".


Bosman 1928, pp.93, 94, 125,

Fletcher, 1994

For more information

See also French Dramatic Artistes and French theatre in South Africa