William Thomas Powell

Jump to navigation Jump to search

William Thomas Powell (1880-?) was an occasional stage hand for the Leonard Rayne company.

Also known as Bill Powell.


Came to South Africa in 1902 with William Russell (better known as Bill Russell). They arrived in Cape Town on September and then reached Johannesburg by train on 15 October. While in Johannesburg he worked for three carriage builders (at different times).

He returned to England at the end of 1903, and in about 1920 he went to the USA and settled in the Los Angeles area, California.

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

While in Johannesburg he and Bill Russel would work as flymen for the Leonard Rayne company in the Gaiety Theatre at night and over weekends.

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.


"Excerpts from the Memoirs of William T. Powell", In: Maryna Fraser. 1985. Johannesburg Pioneer Journals, 1888-1909, Cape Town: The Van Riebeeck Society.

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

Go to the ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities P

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page