Gerard Arbous

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Gerard Arbous (also found as G. Arbous, 18*-19*) was a Dutch performer


Born Gerard Jan Arbous in Amsterdam on 20 April, 1876.

He trained as actor at the Toneelschool in Amsterdam (1900-1902), while playing small roles for the Nederlandsche Tooneelvereeniging.

He then had three seasons with the Koninklijke Vereeniging Het Nederlandsch Tooneel (K.V.H.N.T.). In 1908 he undertook a tour of India, South Africa and Suriname, later working with amateurs there. In 1915 he once more toured India, this time with cabaret artist Henri Marchand.

In 1918 he became co-founder of the short-lived company Het Groot Tooneel, then toured the Netherlands as vocal artist with Netty Brusse-Strauss and a small company. Towards the end of his life he kept himself occupied with amateur theatre.

He also wrote and published a collection of stories about urban artistic life under the title Boheems Amsterdam.

He appeared on Broadway as a replacement actor in The Show of Wonders (Oct 26, 1916 - Apr 21, 1917)[1] and seems to have one film credit for Willem van Oranje (1934)[2]

Arbous passed away in Voorburg on 19 November 1959.

For a list of his roles and productions, see the entry on him in the Dutch TheaterEncyclopedie[3]

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

Arbous visited South Africa in 1908 (along with Truus Post), performing Dutch and Afrikaans plays and poetry, with actors from the Onze Taal dramatic society.

On 18 June, 1908 for example they did three one act Dutch plays - De Boezemvriend (Praga), Voor het Diner (Simons-Mees), and Jean Marie (Theurieb) - as well as recitals of selections from Afrikaans poetry and playlets by Melt Brink, F.W. Reitz and Jan F.E. Cilliers, and scenes from Julius Caesar (translated by Gustav Preller).

On 27 June they participated in a performance of the five act Dutch play Vorstenschool by Mulatuli.

Their visit possibly paved the way for the important later visit by Paul de Groot in 1924.


"Gerard Arbous" in TheaterEncyclopedie[4]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.484-5

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