Sylvia Cavalho

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Sylvia Cavalho (fl. 1900-1916)[1] was an actress and writer.

Not to be confused with the Sylvia Cavallo[2], the American freelance feature writer.


She was born in Madrid Spain, and became a well known British actress and screenwriter, mentioned in various productions for repertory companies, and on tour in South Africa.

It would appear she that she may have been married to (or been the partner of) Clifford Pembroke, D.C. Boonzaier (1923) referring to them as a "clever couple" when they appeared in Cape Town in 1904.

They later worked in film, starring together in Sanctuary (1916)[3], a two hander for which Cavalho had written the script (based on the play by Malcolm Watson) and she appearing as "Anne Moffatt"" in Little Women (1917).

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

She and Clifford Pembroke were the leading performers for the Wheeler Brothers when they put on The Sign of the Cross at the Opera House, Cape Town, as their opening production on 19 November, 1904. They are next mentioned, alongside Edward Vincent and Hugh Buckler, as key cast members in what Boonzaier calls "the finest production of the year 1905" - The Darling of the Gods, at the Opera House, Cape Town (opening on 5 June).


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 1923. (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.421-2

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