This seems to have been a term utilized to refer to amateur performers working with professional companies in Cape Town.
The first mention of them appears to be in January 1818 there is mention of the “Gentlemen Amateurs” who assisted actors from the Royal Theatre, Liverpool in The Honeymoon performed in Cape Town. Evidently these “Gentlemen Amateurs” were various members of the public who came together occasionaly and staged performances for the amusement of the Cape audiences - though Bosman (1928) argues convincingly that it is most probably a reference to “Gentlemen of the Garrison”, hence the Garrison Players.
Bosman, 1928; Fletcher, 1994
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