William Russell

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William Russel (fl. early 20th century) was an occasional stage hand for the Leonard Rayne company.

Also known as Bill Russell


Born William Russel, he had served in South Africa during the Anglo Boer War, and in 1902 came back to South Africa with his colleague and friend William Thomas Powell . They arrived in Cape Town on September and then reached Johannesburg by train on 15 October.

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

While in Johannesburg he and Bill Powell would work as flymen for the Leonard Rayne Company in the Gaiety Theatre.

Powell's reminiscences of their period there (published as "Excerpts from the Memoirs of William T. Powell"[]) contain interesting information on Johannesburg at the time and of the work of the Leonard Rayne Company, its manager and its performers in 1902-3.


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, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp.

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

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