Port Elizabeth Amateur Theatrical Society

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Founding and early history

In July 1843, the foundation stone for the Commercial Hall was laid in Main Street, opposite the Market Square, on land granted by Sir George Napier.

On September 22, 1847, the first performance by the Port Elizabeth Amateur Theatrical Society was staged in the Commercial Hall. The tragedy play Ion by Sergeant Talford was staged as well as a performance of The Queer Subject ("queer" as in "shady"). The Queer Subject was a one-act farce written by J S Coyne and was performed for the first time at the Royal Adelphi Theatre, London, in November 1835. Characters in the production included Dr Bingo, Charles, Bill Mattock, Ned Snatch, Sammy Spectre, Tom Darking, countrymen and Julia.


Sources

Eastern Province Herald, September 1847

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