W. Carr

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W. Carr (fl 1850s-1860s) was a soldier and amateur performer.

Probably the same person referred to simply as Carr or as Mr Carr by F.C.L. Bosman (1980, p. 73 and 76).


He came to the Cape Colony as a private in the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot, presumably some time in the late 1850s.

Initially stationed in Cape Town, the regiment was sent to the Eastern Frontier of the Cape Colony (now the Eastern Province, South Africa) between 1860 and 1862, shortly after the Xhosa cattle-killing movement and famine (1857-1858). The regiment was based in Grahamstown and Keiskama Hoek at that time.

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

A Mr Carr is listed one of the performers used by Sefton Parry for a production of The Poor Gentleman (Colman), done in the Cape Town Theatre on 25 June, 1858, the production "under the auspices of the Cape Volunteers". He played the role of "Worthington" on this occasion.

When the regiment was thereafter posted to the Eastern Cape, a Private W. Carr is mentioned as a member of the regiment's Dramatic Club, in the section known as the Amateurs of the Band (also Band of Amateurs or simply Band Amateurs) and acted in five productions during his three-year stay on the Eastern Frontier. Among them were:

November 12, 1862: John Baldwin Buckstone's two-act domestic melo-drama, Luke The Labourer performed by the Amateurs of the Band (he played "Charles Maydew", a young farmer).

November 26, 1862: I. Pocock's famous “melo-drama” The Miller and His Men, performed by the Band of Amateurs (he played "Kelmar", an old cottager).

November 26, 1862: F. Kenny's capital old two-act farce, The Illustrious Stranger ( played "Azan").


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.73, 76

North Lincoln Sphinx, Vol 1, No 14, Keiskama Hoek, December 10, 1862, pages 270-272.

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