Luigi Dalle Case

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Luigi Dalle Case (18*?-)was a circus owner and performer, and theatre impresario.(Generally referred to as Signor Dalle Case or Dalle Case while in South Africa.


Little is known of his earlier years, but he appears to have been a circus performer in London, performing equestrian gymnastics at the Royal Victoria Theatre in 1841, and briefly running his own theatre in 1842 Exhibit Equestrian present equestrian gymnastics events and theatrical performances. However the theatre only lasted till Granted a licence in 25 February, the theatre apparently closed down in April 1842 due to opposition from powerful rivals and lack of audiences.

He first appeared in the Cape in 1847 with his partner Signor Severo, with whom he managed an "Italian Circus", which staged a variety of circus-style programmes as well as several pantomimes at the Victoria Theatre and the Garrison Theatre in Cape Town. His wife Signora Dalle Case, was one of the performers. In February 1848, the partners went their separate ways, each with his own circus (case continued with the Italian Circus, Signor Severo started an African Circus).

Case, however, also acted as impresario for a professional French theatre-company (the French Dramatic Artistes, or also referred to as the Dalle Case Company), described as "freshly arrived from Mauritius", which made their debut in the Hope Street Theatre in 1848 with a show featuring mainly song and dance. His wife and his daughter were also part of the company, inter alia doing "koorddanse" (Dutch for "tightrope walking"). However, Case failed to make a financial success of this venture, and the company soon abandoned him, becoming known as Theatre de l'Union.

Shortly thereafter he appears to have left the Cape (and show-business) for adventures in the interior, possibly with Noble's Circus, since F.C.L. Bosman (1928, p. 437, f.2) notes a Signora Dalle Case (is this supposed to be signor?), who performed on the borders of the Cape toward the end of 1850 and then appears in Natal in 1852, with a number of wild animals.



Gillian Arrighi and Victor Emeljanow. 2012. A World of Popular Entertainments: An Edited Volume of Critical Essays. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: pp. 94[1]

Jill Fletcher, 1994

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: pp. 434-437, 475, 484, 494, 500.

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