Monsieur Delémery (17**-18**) was a French actor and transformation artist, possibly a professional, who visited Cape Town. (His name also written Mr Delémery, Mr Delemery or simply Delemery in sources.)
His impact on South African theatre
On his way to Mauritius or the East, he apparently stopped at Cape Town to perform on a few occasions for the French amateurs in the city. He appears to have been greatly admired in Cape Town, and productions in which he featured could command far higher admission-prices than normal. Judging from the variety of parts he played (including five different roles in one night!), he must have been an actor of the highest versatility.
He is first mentioned as performing from 29 October 1803, then again from 1805 till the end of 1806, after which he must have resumed his travels.
He appeared in a number of productions for the French Company run by Charles Mathurin Villet from 1803 onwards, usually playing a leading role. He then disappears from the scene for about 20 months, till June 1805-06, when he did a whole season with the Amateur Company (also referred to in some cases as Les Amateurs de l'Isle de France).
Among his leading roles were:
In 1805: Les Battus Paient l'Amende (Dorvigny), Les Soldiers Mordorés, ou La Cordonnière Allemande (Ferrières), Arlequin Protégé par Belphégor (Delémery?), Eraste, ou L'Enfant Proscrit de Son Père, Le Paysan, Soldat Malgré Lui, La Clochette (Anseaume), La Meunière De Gentilly (Monier), and Le Mariage Forcé (Molière). Possibly Le Soldat Magicien (Anseaume) and On Ne s'Avise de Tout (Mr Sedaine).
Jill Fletcher, 1994.
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