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). In May 1867 the management roles were taken over by "Col.-Sergeant" W. Duke (manager) and E. Hartigan (stage manager). The company of officers was later also led by a Captain Borton, The leading performers were apparently J. Stonely and J. Connors, and other performers mentioned over time in relation to in the programmes offered by the company include H.F. Simmonds, Alfred Ray, H. Wallace, a Master Stapleton, G. Wickstead, R. Britten, C. Davis, J. Hodge, J. Allen, Captain Harvey, Mr Wavell and Mr Evans.

The performances

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.

On 4 April 1867 the company, in association with Mrs Cooper, did a "Dramatic and Gymnastic Display" as a benefit for J. Stonely which included a pantomime by Stonely called The Courtier and the Shoemaker and The Warlock of the Glen (Walker).

From May 1867 onwards the management of the company fell to "Col.-Sergeant" J. Flynn, with J. Hodge as "stage manager" (and "jester"), and from October of the same year, "Col.-Sergeant" W. Duke and E. Hartigan took over the respective roles. The performers were usually led by J. Stonely and J. Connors, as gymnasts and actors, supported by one or two others (often referred to as "jesters"), drawn from a a pool of performers that included C. Davis, T. Tucker, G. Wickstead, R. Britten, C. Davis, J. Hodge and J. Allen.

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

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 (Lynch), Turn Him Out (Williams), 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 (Sloppy Sam) (Anon.), The Brigands of Calabria (Anon.), A Kiss in the Dark (Buckstone), Belphegor the Mountebank, or Woman's Constancy (Dennery and Fournier/Webb), The Syren of Paris (Suter), Carnival d'Afrique (Anon.), and The Area Belle (Brough and Halliday).

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. 257-261,

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