Maude Clifford

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Maude Clifford (fl. 1873-1874) was an actress.

Also billed as Miss Clifford.


She seems to have married the actor E.V. Sinclair while in South Africa.

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

She came to South Africa as a member of Disney Roebuck's first company that arrived in the country in 1873 for performances in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and King Williamstown.

She was largely used in supporting roles, and had great success playing the "precocious Sam Willoughby" in The Ticket of Leave Man (Brisebarre and Nus/Taylor).

In King Williamstown however, she fell out with Roebuck and so she left the company with with her husband, E.V. Sinclair and Mr Brougham. This ended in the courts, since Roebuck argued that she had broken her contract. She was fined and prevented from leaving the company.

She is next heard of as performing with Sinclair in a panorama in the interior and offering a series of "entertainments" in the Graaff-Reinet Town Hall with the help of the local "Gentlemen Amateurs" during December of 1874.

By 1877 it would appear the break had healed for she is mentioned, with her husband, as performing in two benefit performances arranged for them by Disney Roebuck's company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town. The first was on 8 October and the plays put on were The School for Scandal (Sheridan) and Ici on Parle Francais (Williams).

The second benefit was on 20 October and consisted of Our Boys (Byron) and Ben Bolt (Johnstone).


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 306, 316-318, 361

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