Concept of a Shakespeare Circle
The notion of a Shakespeare Circle, as a club where playreadings, discussions and musical events related to Shakespeare were held on a monthly basis was brought to South Africa by Dean Cecil Tugman.
The Shakespeare Circle, Bloemfontein
Cecil Tugman founded the original South African Shakespeare Circle in Bloemfontein in 1947. It was apparently a succesor to the Toneelleesklub in the city. At its monthly gatherings playreading, discussions and music were presented and the matric Shakespeare set piece was performed annually. It was apparently a succesor to the Toneelleesklub in the city. At monthly gatherings playreading, discussions and music were presented and the matric Shakespeare set piece was presented annually. They went on to import professional directors for their plays and existed till 198*?? Among the notables involved with the circle were Dawie Marquard and Kathleen Marquard, Marlene Kotzen, ***** They later used the Jewish Communal Hall for their productions when the Grand Theatre was declared unsafe. *
With the coming of the Performing Arts Councils, and the founding of PACOFS in Bloemfontein, the Bloemfontein amateur groups , and notably the Shakespeare Circle, found themselves being sidelined by professional productions. This specifically influenced the Shakespeare Circle , who had managed to keep financially afloat over the years by doing the annual prescribed Shakespeare play for schools. In the 1960s they initially collaborated with the small PACOFS company on some of their large and prestigious productions (The Tempest, Richard III, etc) but eventually were sidelined.
The Shakespeare Circle, Pretoria
Cecil Tugman later moved to Pretoria and also founded a Shakespeare Circle there in 19*.??*
P.J. du Toit, 1988 [TH, JH]
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