Louis de Vriendt

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Louis de Vriendt. (18**-1946) Actor, director, playwright and manager.


He was the son of a Flemish sculptor.

After spending 1927 to 1929 in South Africa, he returned to Belgium. In 1936 he came to South Africa with his wife with the intention to settle here permanently. De Vriendt married Afrikaans actress Tirsa Rosouw, after the death of his second wife. He died on 27 July 1946 in Springs, South Africa. He had one daughter of his first marriage to Josephina Wellens.


De Vriendt began acting when he was eighteen and trained in the Flemish "volkstoneel" ("folk theatre") with Jan van Beers and Emiel Hullebroeck.


He travelled widely, also in eastern Europe, and apparently met his wife Mignon Sorel there. When they returned to Europe in 1914 they lived in Amsterdam and later moved to Belgium and formed the De Comoedia theatre group, presenting popular "transformation pieces" in which they portrayed a dozen or more characters. For example, when they performed Die Niksnuts ("Worthless Man") he and his wife enacted eight characters each, utilizing a strong mimetic style of characterization.

In the 1922-23 season they joined Anton Verheyen on his tour of India and returned with him to Cape Town in 1927.

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

He came to Cape Town in 1927 with Anton Verheyen to tour with their pieces, including Elckerlijc, Bietje ("Little"), De Brandstichter ("The Pyromaniac", De Gebroken Spiegel ("The Broken Mirror"), Niksnuts ("Worthless Man") and De Zonden van het Verleden ("The sins of the past" or Het Kind der Zonde = "Child of Sin "). Soon Verheyen breaks way, and they continued touring on their own.

In 1938 he directed Sepp'l, a Flemish operetta he had co-written with Emil Hullebroeck, for Volksteater.

Among the plays he wrote are Die Klou and Vabond.

Awards, etc


SA History Online [1].

Brandwag, 9 August 1946, p.15.

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