Lillian Beddard

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Lillian Beddard (fl 1880-1890) was an actress, manager and journalist.


Boonzaier notes that long after leaving South Africa, she apparently resided in the USA, working as a journalist.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

She was initially known in South Africa as an actress of some importance (though according to Boonzaier of no great talent) in the 1880s, and a manager of several companies in that period.

According to Hoffman, Lillian Beddard's was "the first Shakesperian company to perform in Johannesburg"(19). Romeo and Juliet ran at the Theatre Royal from 3-8 June, 1889, with Lillian Beddard as Juliet. To give some idea of the theatrical company Shakespeare was keeping at the time, we see that from 10-14 June 1889 Beddard was playing Clara Douglas in Bulwer Lytton's comedy, Money. From 21-26 June she was Lady Mary in J.W. Boulding's The White Queen - a play written specially for her. From 1-3 July, she played Leslie Brudenell in Pinero's The Profligate. Then came her role as Lady Macbeth in the second Shakespeare offering, which ran from 8-13 July.

She apparently never visited Cape Town with any of her companies, but Boonzaier does cite one programme for an event called Grand Classical Performance which she, assisted by Charles Lobbett, organised in the Exhibition Theatre, Cape Town, on 3 May 1888. The production included the "Balcony Scene" from Romeo and Juliet, the "Sleepwalking Scene" from Macbeth, and the first act of Gilbert's Pygmalion and Galatea, with incidental songs sung by a local singing teacher, Henry Clements. The cast also included a Madame K. Schonborn-Lorch.

Awards, etc


D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.388-9

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