Onze Taal

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There have been two organisations called Onze Taal: one in Bloemfontein and one in Pretoria

Onze Taal, Bloemfontein

Onze Taal ("Our Language") was the original Dutch name of the cultural organisation founded in Bloemfontein 1908 to promote the Dutch language in South Africa. Later changed its name to Ons Taal, in Afrikaans.

See Ons Taal

Onze Taal, Pretoria, 1891 – 1899

Name assumed by the Dutch-language “rederijkerskamer” (oratory-club) Wilhelmina shortly after its inception in Pretoria in 1891 and active there until 1899. Founded in Pretoria by Dirk J. Balfoort in February 1891. Balfoort (a composer) and H. Roorda (a poet) were mainly responsible for the success of the company.

Its later name came from a song ("Onze Taal") by Roorda and Balfoort. It was a closed society concerned with the preservation and growth of the Dutch language, based on the same principles as the group Aurora.

Onze Taal produced short original plays interspersed with recitations and music at the Good Templars Hall, among the plays produced were John Allman (Everyman), De Trekpleister ("The drawcard"), Veel Liever ("Much Rather"), Het omgevallen Zoutvat ("The spilled salt-cellar""), Twee die niet Durven ("The two who do not dare") and De Bijziende ("The short sighted one").

Later they also performed in the President's Theatre with plays such as Von Mozer's Het Zangerfeest ("The song festival") and l'Arronge's Dr Klaus.

They were active there until 1899, when the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War caused the company to disband.

Onze Taal, Pretoria, 1904-1908

The society was revived in 1904, but struggled and was defunct again by 1908. In this period they used the renamed Empress's Theatre to do sporadic plays, including Jean Marie (Theuriet),

Onze Taal, Pretoria, 1914-?

An attempt was made to re-establish it again in 1914, but failed once more.

[TH, JH]


Ludwig Wilhelm Berthold Binge. 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950). Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 35-36, 102, 153.

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp. 9

P.J. du Toit. 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica.

Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg.

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