Odds and Ends

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There have been two (possibly three) shows with the title Odds and Ends done in South Africa.

Odds and Ends by Charles du Val (1865)

Described as "a repertoire of character and musical sketches, topical hits and local allusions, passing events, songs, immitations, bon mots, and so forth" by Maryna Fraser (1985), it was the 19th century British journalist and author Charles du Val's standard one man show. He wrote all his own material, including the music, and the first version of this show was originally written in in the winter of 1865 – 1866. Its opening night drew little notice, but by the end of the first week the audiences grew large enough for him to exceed his costs and the show went on to several long seasons in London’s West End, even being commanded to appear before the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and later international tours, where it served him well throughout his life.

The piece was performed by Du Val all over South Africa during two extended tours in the years 1880-1881 and 1888. The Cape Town season ran for 22 performances.

Odds and Ends by an unknown author (1878)

On 10 August, 1878 a performance of a work called Odds and Ends was done in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, under the auspices of the Egerton and Case Company. No author is mentioned, nor any performer, but it is more than likely that this was a (locally adapted?) version of Du Val's play, but - since Du Val only arrived in South Africa at the end of 1879 - probably performed by a company actor, perhaps George Case himself or their colleague Sutton Vale, who at the time specialized in "character sketches".

Odds and Ends by Annie Barnes (1983)

Written and directed by Annie Barnes, performed in the Baxter Studio in 1983. The cast: Michael van Ryneveld, Miriam Munitz, Alfred Hinkel, Peter Merrill, Joanna Weinberg, Jennie Reznik.


With a Show Through Southern Africa by Charles Du Val, Tinsley Brothers, 8 Catherine Street, Strand, 1882.

Maryna Fraser. 1985. Johannesburg Pioneer Journals, 1888-1909, The Van Riebeeck Society[1]

Barrow, Brian and Williams-Short, Yvonne (eds.). 1988. Theatre Alive! The Baxter Story 1977-1987. Cape Town: The Baxter Theatre.

Go to the ESAT Bibliography

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