Cape Town Amateur Company

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The Cape Town Amateur Company was an English theatrical group active in Cape Town from May till November, 1829.

One of two amateur companies in existence in Cape Town at the time, it drew its members drawn from the ordinary citizenry, as opposed to those of its rival, the English Theatrical Amateur Company, which consisted of troops from the garrison. Mr Stapleton was the director, hence the company was also known as Mr Stapleton's Company or Mr Stapleton's Party.

Performances were staged in the Cape Town Theatre as early as 2 May 1829, and included successful performances of Charles the Second and The Liar on 20 June, done "for the benefit of Mr and Mrs Jessup and 5 children lately wrecked in the Columbine on this coast".

On 11 July they were to have joined the English Theatricals company in another benefit performance, this time for the survivors of the L'Eole shipwreck, but withdrew their participation, possibly because of internal difficulties with some actors leaving (Mr Page for one).

All reference to them disappear once Mr H. Booth arrived in 1829 and formed All the World's a Stage, of which the Cape Town Amateur Company seems to have formed the core.

[TH, JH]


F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp.192-3, 202-203, 372, 380.

Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg.

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