Minstrel shows in South Africa

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Consisting of Minstrel shows, minstrel turns, minstrels and minstrelsy. ****** Deriving from the popular 19th century African-American tradition of minstrel shows, and apparently first brought to South Africa by the Christy Minstrels during their 18** tour, this style of performance has had an enormous impact on South African performance culture, as Bosman (1964), Coplan (1985) and Kruger (1999) show.

In 1869 for example the names and terms such as Amateur Christy's, Nigger Burlesque, Grand Christy Entertainment, Minstrels, Comic Negro Song frequently crop up in Cape Town theatres, as does the company name Royal Devonshire Minstrels, who - under the patronaged of Captain Jackson of the 86th Royal Downshire Regiment, performed a Grand Christy Entertainment Show in the Oddfellows Hall on 19 April 1869 and another evening's entertainment on the 27th May.

More importantly on the longer term perhaps is the way they directly influenced the form, dress and style of the “Coon Carnival” in Cape Town, while such South African minstrel groups as the African Darkies, African Own Entertainers, and the Midnight Follies became popular, and in their turn influenced township performance through their use of coons songs and skits borrowed from recordings and sheet music from Britain and the USA. .**??

See also (Coplan??p 124)

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