H.C. Sidney

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H.C. Sidney (fl. 1870-1880s?) was a British actor and comedian and sometime theatre manager


There seems to be very little information of any actor by this name in Britain or the commonwealth.

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

H.C. Sidney is first mentioned when he came to South Africa in 1884 with a company got together by Henry Harper, and - according to Boonzaier (1923) - became Harper's leading man, giving superb performances in roles such as: "Cecil Vane" in Faces in the Fire (Bayard and Laurencin/Buckingham), "Sir Joseph Porter" in The Wreck of the Pinafore (Searelle and Lingard), "Pygmalion" in Pygmalion and Galatea (Gilbert), "Sir Simon Simple" in Not Such a Fool as He Looks (Byron), "Captain Crighton" in Impulse (Stephenson), " " in The Two Orphans (Oxenford), " Mildmay" in Still Waters Run Deep (De Bernard/Taylor), "John Stratton" in The Old Love and the New (Howard and (Albery), "Chalcot" in Ours (Robertson), "Henry Beauclerc" in Diplomacy (Sardou/Stephenson and Scott), "Job Armroyd" in Lost in London (Phillips), "Sir Horace Welby" in Forget-me-Not (Merival and Grove), and "a host of other characters he acted in a manner that stamped them indelibly on the memory" (cited in Bosman, 1980: pp. 377-8).

After Harper had given up the Theatre Royal, Sidney stepped in to take it over briefly in 1885, with H.J. Fiedler as his business partner. Inspired by Sutton Vane's rediscovery of the text of The Silver King (Jones and Herman), the Sidney-Fiedler Company put it on in the theatre, providing Sidney with an opportunity to give his best performance ("the apex of his colonial career" as Boonzaier phrases it) as "Wilfred Denver" in Sutton Vane's production of the play.


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 1923. (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. 356, 376-384.

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