Ena Soutar (b. Scotland, **/**/1873 - d. Pretoria, 01/01/1957) was an actress and singer.
Born in Scotland, the first reference to her stage career is an appearance in a poorly reviewed comic opera entitled Mistress Clare (1901) at the St. George’s Hall in Langham Place, London, though it may be that the reviewer for The Stage was especially alarmed at the presence of a woman wielding the conductor’s baton (named as F. Schulz, she was also the composer). After that she appeared in productions like The Gay Parisienne (1905) in the Opera House in Southport, but most frequently as a popular vocalist in theatres and music halls all over the country. At one stage she also seems to have been a member of the Metropolitan Operatic Quartette that performed at the Standard Theatre in Shoreditch, the Music Hall in Hull and the Theatre Royal in Manchester, between 1907 and 1908.
It is not known when she came to South Africa, but in 1915 she acted in Hindle Wakes and My Lady’s Dress at the Palladium Theatre in Johannesburg and later as Willemien Botmar, Joan Morgan’s mother (and Dick Cruikshanks’s wife) in Swallow (1922), the film based on a novel by H. Rider Haggard and directed by Leander De Cordova for African Film Productions. That same year she also appeared in Sam’s Kid, a film probably started by De Cordova, but most likely completed by M.A. Wetherell. That is the last reference we have been able to find, though she apparently died many years later at Nazareth House in Pretoria on 1st January 1957.
The Stage, 20 January 1901
Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm
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