Edward Sass

(Redirected from Sass and Nelson Company)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Edward Sass (1858-1916) was an actor-manager


Born on 12 January, 1858 in London, England,

He became an actor, later also managing his own company, taking plays on tour, also to the colonies.

His film work included Henry VIII (1911), The Broken Melody (1916) and The Heart of a Child (1915)[1].

Sass married the actress Emma Gwynne Putney in 1886, and they had one child. He died on 15 November, 1916 in New Malden, Surrey, England.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

In 1895 he brought the Edward Sass Gaiety Company (also known simply as the Edward Sass Company) to South Africa to perform a number of plays under the auspices of the Wheeler Theatre Company, inter alia opening at the Opera House, Cape Town, on 1 June. Other company members, besides Sass himself, included James Nelson, J.H. Darnley, J.B. Gordon, Emma Glynne and Ada Logan. Their repertoire included The New Woman (Grundy), Doctor Bill (Carré /Aidé), The Case of Rebellious Susan (Jones), Liberty Hall (Dibdin), The Solicitor (Darnley), The Masqueraders (Jones), The Second Mrs Tanqueray (Pinero) and The Bauble Shop (Jones).

According to Boonzaier (1923), Sass was an admirable actor and excellent manager, most punctilious about the mise-en-scène of his productions, one "who afterwards played a prominent part in several South African theatrical enterprises".

The Sass and Nelson Musical Comedy Company

In subsequent tours the company appears to have become a joint venture of the two principal actors, Edward Sass and James Nelson, performing as the Sass and Nelson Musical Comedy Company (also found as the Sass-Nelson Musical Comedy Company, the Sass and Nelson Company, the Sass-Nelson Company, or simply as Sass and Nelson).

Opening on 11 May 1901, the joint company offered a season of plays at the Opera House, that included A Royal Family (Marshall), Lady Huntworth's Experiment (Carton), The Man from Blankley's (Anstey), The Second in Command (Marshall), The Manoeuvres of Jane (Jones), Sweet Nell of Old Drury (Kester) and The Man of Forty (Frith).

In 1904-5 the company returned to Cape Town for two further short seasons at the Opera House, with a repertoire that now included Old Heidelberg (Meyer-Förster/Bleichmann), Sergeant Brue (Lehmann and Hall), Quality Street (Barrie), The Earl and the Girl (Greenbank and Caryll), Red Riding Hood (a burlesque, by an unnamed author) and The Talk of the Town (Drinkwater). William Cromwell and Chrissie Leonard played prominent roles in these plays for the company.




D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 383, 401, 405, 408-422, 438

Go to the ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities S

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to South African Theatre Venues, Companies, Societies, etc

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page