Wheeler Theatre Company
The Wheeler Theatre Company was founded in Cape Town in May 1886 by impressario Ben Wheeler (Benjamin Wheeler, "the Gov'nor") and his son Frank Wheeler, two actor managers who focussed on musical comedy or comic opera which included farce, and minstrel programmes (on occasion referred to in playbills as "negro absurdities").
They came from Australia??**/England??** , to become among the foremost theatrical managers in South Africa in the period before the Anglo-Boer war.
In 1886 Luscombe Searelle was with the company for a year. Among other venues, they used the Good Hope Theatre and the Theatre Royal in Burg Street for their shows. The Hawtrey Comedy Company performed Charley's Aunt under the Wheeler Theatre Company management at the Good Hope Theatre in 18**
In 1887 they brought a new company to Cape Town to play in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town in April and May. Consisting of a cast chosen by their manager, Frank Weston, and for the most part directed by Sutton Vane, a new appointee with the company, their repertoire included Dandy Dick (Pinero), The Harbour Lights (Sims and Petitt), The Schoolmistress (Pinero), The Workman (Towers), My Sweetheart (Maeder and Gill), Two Orphans (D'Ennery and Cormon), Lady of Lyons (Bulwer-Lytton), Confusion (Moore) and Peril (Saville and Bolton).