Mr Leslie

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There are a few references to a performer called Mr Leslie (fl. 1860's) who performed in the Cape Province in the mid 19th century.

The extent to which they are related, or are the same person, is difficult to discern from available evidence.

"Mr Leslie", 1858

The "first appearance in Cape Town" of a Mr Leslie was announced for an evening of entertainment by the Charles Fraser company and a company of amateurs in the Cape Town Theatre on 27 December, 1858, which included the three pieces A Blighted Being (Taylor), The Irish Tutor (Butler) and The Spectre Bridegroom (Moncrieff). Mr Leslie apparently played the lead of "Job Wort" in A Blighted Being.

"Mr Leslie", 1862

A comedian in the Christy's idiom, he claimed to have been a member of the original 1842 Broadway company led E.B. Christy and was a member of The Christy Minstrels troupe that visited Cape Town, Port Elizabeth as well as various smaller settlements in 1862, en route to Australia.

"Mr Leslie", 1872-4

Also identified as W.S. Leslie (fl. 1870's), he was a British Christy's style singer and performer, apparently attached to the St James Hall, London. In South Africa he was a leading member of the touring Harvey-Dougherty-Leslie-Braham Minstrels, that visited the Cape Colony, the diamond fields of Kimberley and the Orange Free State for a set of three seasons, between November 1872 and the end of 1874.


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 124,193-194, 251-2

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