Clara Tellett

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Clara Tellett (fl. mid 19th century) was a British professional performer.

Also referred to as Mrs Tellett in many sources


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

She on occasion performed for the Cape Town Theatrical Club (later to become the Cape Town Dramatic Club) in the period 1858-1862. In 1862 she hired the Theatre Royal in Cape Town for six months (mid July till mid December), where she put on a short season of plays herself with a "selected company" for two months, thereafter tending to manage the theatre, letting it various companies, e.g. the CTDC, the Christy Minstrels, Prof. Hansen the mesmerist, and others, including four benefit evenings for T. Brazier, James Leffler, Mr Raymond and J. Spencer.

Her repertoire for 16 June to 18 August 1862 included productions of Madeleine, or The Daughter of the Regiment (Stirling), Hunting a Turtle, or Trust a Woman's Wit (Selby), The Housekeeper, or The White Rose (Jerrold), Catching an Heiress, or Which is Which (Selby), My American Cousin, or A Slight Misunderstanding ("a Gentleman of Cape Town"), The Old Chateau, or A Night of Peril (Coyne), The Prima Donna (Boucicault), A Desperate Game (Morton), Temptation, or The Fatal Brand (Townsend), The Maid with the Milking Pail (Morton), Take Care of Dowb (Morton), The Warlock of the Glen (Walker), Love in Humble Life (Scribe/Payne), A Glorious Case (Stocqueler), The Idiot Witness, or A Tale of Blood (Haines), The Miller's Maid (Saville), That Blessed Baby (), Our Wife, or The Rose of Amiens (Morton), The Maid of the Mill (Bickerstaffe), A Perfect Cure (Sapte), The Pilot, or A Tale of the Sea (Fitzball), My Wife's Out (Rodwell), The Married Bachelor, or Master and Man (O'Calligan), The Rough Diamond (Buckstone), The Youthful Queen, or Christine of Sweden (Shannon), An Object of Interest (Stocqueler), Midnight; the Thirteenth Chime, or Old Saint Paul's (Barnett), Don Caesar de Bazan (Dumanoir), That Blessed Baby (Moore), The Iron Chest (Colman), Living Too Fast, or A Twelvemonth's Honeymoon (Troughton), It's Never too Late to Mend, or Gold, Gold, Gold (Reade), Marriage at any Price (Wooler), Faust and Marguerite (Goethe/Carré), Paul Pry (Jerrold), Poll and my Partner Joe (Haines) and Born to Good Luck, or The Irishman in Italy (Power).

In October Mrs Tellett and her company apparently performed in Caledon.

In 1865 Tellett and her company joined forces with Parkes' Company in Port Elizabeth, putting on pieces like All is not Gold that Glitters (Tellett appearing as "Martha Gibbs").


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik.

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