Jean-Pierre-Diogenes, of L'Orateur dans un Tonneau

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Jean-Pierre-Diogenes, of L'Orateur dans un Tonneau ("Jean-Pierre-Diogenes, or The Speaker in a Barrel") a comic monologue by an anonymous author.

The text

Probably based on the life and/or works of Diogenes, apparently written in three languages (Dutch, English and French) possibly by a local author, the most likely being Charles Etienne Boniface. However, later in the newspaper report of the only known performance, it is referred to as an "Epiloge in drie Talen" , with the further information that it was delivered by Een Zwart Heer ("A Black Gentleman"), claimed to have been one of the foremost performers in the Kingdom of Acte. If so, it may have been written by this performer himself.

F.C.L. Bosman (1928[1]) believes it to have been the first appearance on the formal stage by a black actor in the Cape, and places the "Kingdom of Acte" in Madagascar.

Perfomances in South Africa

1815: Spoken as an amusing "Inleiding in drie Talen" ("Introduction in three Languages") to a performance of De Struikroovers van Kalabrien, of De Onveilige Wildernis (Tréogate) by Honi Soit qui Mal y Pense in Cape Town on Saturday 11 November.


F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: p. 140

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