Officers of the Garrison

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As a general term in the context of theatre in South Africa, it applies to officers from the British garrisons in South Africa, who on occasion would form a theatrical society to put on plays and entertainments.

For a general overview, see Military Entertainment and the Garrison Players.

Cape Town

One such company was founded by the officers of the Garrison at Cape Town in 1807, to put on plays in the African Theatre. (Often also referred to as the Garrison Players) It appears to have been led by a Mr Morgan, Captain Frazer and Captain Collins

Originally they merely planned the "weekly Comedy", but soon the programmes took on a more substantial form. **. In the initial period (1807-8) their repertoire included The Rivals , The West Indian, Tom Thumb, The Beaux Stratagem, She Stoops to Conquer, etc.

They performed on and off for much of the 19th century, and were also known as the Garrison Amateur Company, the English Theatricals (before 1819), the Gentlemen Amateurs or simply the Amateur Company (after 1819), and even for a while Captain Hall's Company (1850-1855).


There was apparently a similar company in Grahamstown in 1853, who performed in the Theatre Royal and the Garrison Theatre there, doing among others Love à-la-Mode (Macklin) and The Three Clerks on 11 October, 1853.


Bosman, 1928: pp 69-78; Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

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