English Theatrical Amateur Company

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The English Theatrical Amateur Company (1828-1830) was possibly the final name of the Gentlemen Amateurs (before, simply the English Theatricals, and then the Garrison Amateur Company), a name which it started using in 1829.

See also English Theatricals

The Company

As a company of amateurs they seem to have come into existence in in Cape Town towards the end of 1828 or beginning 1829, though a group called the English Comedy put on shows in 1826. Amalgamated with their rivals the Cape Town Amateur Company in 1829 for a benefit performance of Foote’s The Mayor of Garratt and other works, for survivors of the wreck of the L’Eole. The company itself ended in the same year when Mr H. Booth formed “All the World’s a Stage”, utilizing members of the two groups. When this company in turn closed down in 1834, a new amateur group – the Private Amateur Company – surfaced.

The productions

They played their first season as the English Theatrical Amateur Company in 1828-29. Plays included:

8 November 1828: The Mayor of Garratt (Foote), Sharp and Flat (Lawler), Past ten o'Clock, or A Rainy Night (Dibdin).

9 May 1829: Reformation (Anon), The Mogul Tale, or The Descent of the Balloon (Mrs Inchbald) and Trick for Trick, or The Admiral's Daughter (Anon).


Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg.

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp. 201

[TH, JH]

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