Mutual Hall

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Mutual Hall

References to a venue referred to as the "Mutual Hall" occur in a number of publications, particularly regarding theatrical events of the 19th century.

Mutual Hall, Cape Town

In Cape Town cultural circles, Mutual Hall was the popular name given to a concert hall housed in the original(?) Mutual Building in the city, i.e. the premises of The Mutual Life Assurance Society of the Cape of Good Hope[1], a mutual insurance company founded by John Fairbairn, together with several other prominent Cape Town figures in 1845. (The original name was changed to The South Africa Mutual Life Assurance Society in 1885.)

(This is not to be confused the art deco building known as the Mutual Building[2] (or, Mutual Gebou in Afrikaans), which was opened in Darling Street in 1940 to serve as the Old Mutual offices till Old Mutual relocated its head office to Mutualpark in Pinelands in 1956. The 1939 building was later converted to residential use and known as "Mutual Heights").

Performances taking place in the Mutual Hall, Cape Town

The Mutual Hall was used as a performance venue by the Young Men’s Institute Amateur Christy’s for their initial performances in 1868, till the Cape Town Institute and Club opened their own building in Burg Street on 15 July, 1868, after which used that as their normal venue.

The Harper-Leffler Company performed six concerts of opera selections in the Commercial Exchange and the Mutual Hall, Cape Town from 5 August - 9 September 1868.

In 1872 the 86th Royal Downshire Minstrels performed some Christy Concerts there.

In 1873 and 1874 Disney Roebuck and company performed there.

Mutual Hall, East London

Mark Twain performed his At Home in the Mutual Hall on Market Square, East London in June 1896.


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