Phoenix Dramatic Club

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The Phoenix Dramatic Club was an amateur dramatic society founded at Cape Town in 1865.

Despite the similarity of the names, this is not to be confused with the Christy's-inspired Phoenix Club active in 1868.


The club was probably a revival "from the ashes" of the old Cape Town Dramatic Club and aspired to "a revival of the drama" in Cape Town.


Their first performance took place on 27 June, 1865 in the Theatre Royal, only for invited theatre-goers and apparently "free, gratis and for nothing", the performers paying all the costs. The bill for the evening contained The Irish Attorney, or Galway Practice, featuring Mr Dillon (as the attorney), Mr Barrington and Mr Egerton. The play was followed by a Christy's style performance by Mr Egerton and Mr Angelo.

On 1 August they did a repeat of The Irish Attorney, or Galway Practice, along with a performance of "the Grand Comical, Classical (Musical) Burlesques" of William Tell, with scenery by C.J. Smith. (The publicity of the piece compares it to the 1861 production of the piece by Sefton Parry.) This evening's performance was a paid one, and apparently the audiences did not turn up.

Sadly, no more is heard of the Phoenix Dramatic Club after that.


F.C.L. Bosman, 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.269-270.

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


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