This seems to have been a term utilized to refer to amateur performers working with professional companies 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.
The 1818 season and the performers from Liverpool
The first reference to this term appears to be in January 1818 when there is mention of the “Gentlemen Amateurs” who assisted four actors from the Royal Theatre, Liverpool, namely Mr Cooke, Mrs Cooke, Miss Williams and Mrs Brough. They began with The Honey Moon and The Devil to Pay on 24th January 1818 and ended their visit on 21 November 1818 with Catherine and Petrucchio, Crochet Lodge, and a divertissiment called Sandy and Jenny. The English performers left the Cape left the Cape for the East after this. [JH/TH]
The 1855 season and Sefton Parry
Bosman, 1928; Fletcher, 1994
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