9th Regiment

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The first battalion of the 9th Regiment of the British forces was stationed in Cape Town circa 1866-69, led by a Colonel Ellis. Some commissioned officers and men from the company apparently put on theatrical performances in the Garrison Theatre and a few in the new Theatre Royal (opened in 1860).

The company

The basic company of infantrymen was led "Col.-Sergeant" J. Flynn (manager) and J. Hodge (stage manager). The leading performers were apparently J. Stonely and J. Connors. In May 1867 the management roles were taken over by "Col.-Sergeant" W. Duke (manager) and E. Hartigan (stage manager). Other performers mentioned in the programmes include H.F. Simmonds and Alfred Ray (singers of comic songs) and H. Wallace (exponent of Scottish folk dancing).

They first performed in the Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, in association with the Le Roy-Duret Company, in 1866, their regimental orchestra, led by Signor Bonicoli, often participating in the events.

In 1867 the company was involved in a Great Promenade Concert, a charity event for the Good Hope Lodge, held in the Good Hope Gardens on 7 February, which included "the celebrated Shadow Pantomime as lately produced at the Theatre Royal". This was followed by two performances of a Benefit Performance for the Somerset Hospital in Cape Town (4 and 5 March), arranged by the officers of the 9th Regiment in the Theatre Royal. This company of officers was led by a Captain Borton, and included Captain Harvey, Mr Wavell, Mr Evans.

After this, the original company took over again for the rest of the 1867 season, though now appearing in the Theatre Royal as well.

The performances

Among the plays put on by the company over the two seasons (1866-1867) were:

Luke the Labourer (Buckstone), Bombastes Furioso (Rhodes), The Nervous Cures (Brown and Norton), The Area Belle (Brough and Halliday), Othello in Ireland (Anon.), Romeo and Juliet, or The Cup of Cold Poison (Halliday), Box and Cox (Morton), Ben Bolt (Johnstone), The Brigand (Théaulon, Saint-Laurent and Anne/Planché), Macbeth Travestie (Talfourd), Lend Me Five Shillings (Morton), Shylock Burlesque (Talfourd?), Slasher and Crasher (Morton), Sayings and Doings (Morton), The Rose of Ettrick Vale (), Turn Him Out (), The Warlock of the Glen (Williams), The Courtier and the Shoemaker (Stonely), Villikins and his Dinah (Burnand), Mrs White (Raymond), Jack's Delight (Williams), The Bal Masqué (or Sloppy Sam), The Brigands of Calabria (), A Kiss in the Dark (), Belphegor the Mountebank, or Woman's Constancy (Dennery and Fournier/Webb), The Syren of Paris (Suter), Carnival d'Afrique, and The Area Belle

Some of the more popular plays were repeated a number of times over the period.


F.C.L. Bosman, 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 166-7,

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