Liefhebbery Tooneel

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Liefhebbery Tooneel Dutch term equivalent to Amateur Theatre, also written as Liefhebbery Toneel, especially in Cape-Dutch. Used as a generic term, but also as the name for a specific venue.

As general term

Like the English term Amateur Theatre, the Dutch term Liefhebbery Tooneel can refer to someone who undertakes something (or to something undertaken) for the love of it, not for financial gain, or simply mean theatre made by people who are not professionals, but merely doing so for the love of it. In adapted form, i.e. as Liefhebbery Toneel, this was adopted by early Afrikaans. Later Afrikaans began to use Amateur Toneel or Amateur Teater as terms in general use.

See more under Amateur

Liefhebbery Tooneel: A Cape Town theatre

The name Liefhebbery Tooneel was given to a theatre which the amateur company Tot Nut en Vermaak opened in Hope Street, Cape Town in 1825, as an alternative venue to the Afrikaansche Schouwburg. It was also referred to as the Liefhebbery Toneel and Kaapsche Liefhebbery Tooneel on occasion.

It was this society's exclusive venue until 1834 (with the exception of sporadic appearances by English companies). Later the children’s dramatic society Tot Oefening en Vermaak played there (from 1835-1836) and from 1834 to 1838 the venue was also used by C.E. Boniface's Vlyt en Kunst. From 1837, Tot Oefening en Vermaak played there. Also referred to as the Amateur Theatre, or often bilingually as the Liefhebbery Tooneel-Amateur Theatre, depending on the company using it.

It was later known as both the Hope Street Theatre and (from 1846, when it was overhauled) the Victoria Theatre, under which names it continued to exist until 1851. It was also briefly known as the Sans Souci Theatre in 1848, when Theatre de L’Union played there.

The Liefhebbery Tooneel should however not be confused with another venue also situated in Hope Street, and briefly used in 1849, which was known as Haupt’s Warehouse or Haupt's Theatre. (Bosman, 1928;)



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

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