Royal Magnet Company

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The Royal Magnet Company was an vaudeville style touring company.

Also billed as the Royal Magnet Combination Troupe (e.g. when performing in in February, 1876, and later in Port Elizabeth in 1877) or simply the Magnet Company

The company was a joint venture between the Australian trapeze performer/manager George Loyal with Master Ernst in his "Great Aerial Bicycle Feat," the American Samuel Owens Abell and the Australian acrobat and high-wire artiste Ella Zuila. Also included was the English-born acrobat James Klaer (who also acted as stage manager) and some performers from Japan. The director of ballets was Monsignor Ibanez. The shows included trained dogs and monkeys.

The Magnet Company toured the South African British colonies and Boer republics (including the Cape and the Orange Free State) between 1875 and 1877.

In some places, the company built its own performance halls e.g. in Pietermaritzburg (where some so-called "kaffir" shows were held expressly for the local Zulu population, with the permission of the then Maritzburg police superintendent,

Loyal and Zuila had previously performed extensively in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia – then went on from South Africa to tour other parts of the world.

Contribution To South African Theatre

December 30, 1876 to January 16, 1877: Performed in St Patrick's Hall, Port Elizabeth.


Correspondence from journalist and writer Lindsey Arkley (Melbourne)[1]

The Natal Witness, 22 February, 1876

Eastern Province Herald, December 29, 1876.

Eastern Province Herald, January 16, 1877.

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