Mrs Bland

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Mrs Bland (fl 1860s) was a British actress

Usually billed as Mrs Bland, she is sometimes referred to as Mrs Shuter Bland, or, for some unknown reason, as Mrs W. Bland.


She was the wife of the British stage manager and performer Shuter Bland, and an actress in her own right. For example both Mr Bland and Mrs Bland are mentioned in a silk programme from the Theatre, Hereford (held by the Victoria and Albert Museum , London). It is for a production of The Lady of Lyons and The Railway Station! and mentions Bland himself served as an Acting Manager and actor, and his wife as actress.[1]

In Parry's announcement of their arrival as part of his company in 1861, both Shuter Bland and Mrs Bland are described as being "from the Theatres of Bath, Bristol and Newcastle".

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

According to a letter dated 22 May 1861 (published in the The Era of 30 June, 1861), a "Mr & Mrs W. Bland & Louisa Bland", set sail from Bristol on the barque Chevy Chase, bound for Cape Town, as part of a contingent of performers, arriving on 7 May. However, in the announcement for the opening of the newly renovated Theatre Royal in Cape Town, published in the Cape Argus of 1861, the names are given as Mr Shuter Bland, Mrs Shuter Bland and Miss Louisa Bland.

The Blands were all members of Sefton Parry's first full professional company in 1861-1862, Mrs Bland as an actress, and they are said to have participated in 50 productions between May and November of 1861 alone, in addition to a three-month tour to Port Elizabeth in 1862 as well, before returning to Cape Town and returning to England.

Apparently Mrs Bland was particularly well received in the role of "Lady Creamly" in The Serious Family (Bayard and De Wailly), when this was done as part of Sefton Parry's own benefit on 30 April, 1862.

For information on the plays performed, see Sefton Parry


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 96, 104, 112, 115-6.

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