North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot
Founding and early history
The North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot was posted to the Eastern Cape village of "Keiskama Hoek" in 1861. As one can imagine, the only entertainment for the soldiers was what they provided for themselves.
Aims and function
The Amateurs of the Band was formed which provided the troops with the only theatrical entertainment they knew.
Impact on SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
On May 28, 1861, the regiment staged their first production J R Planche's "A serio-Comic, Bombastic, Operatic Interlude, in one act", entitled Amororosa or King of Little Britain in Keiskama Hoek's Garrison Theatre. Starring J Davies (Amorosa, King of Little Britain), J F Gay (Roastando, his cook), T Paterson (Blusterbus, his cook), B Sheean (1st Lord of the Bed-chamber), J M"Kechnie]] (Aoqnetinda), and F Girton (Mollidusta).
After the performance, a comic song was sung by J M'Kechnie.
A second production, a farce in one act, The Omnibus or A Convenient Distance was performed starring J M'Kechnie (Mr Ledger), F Girton (Mr Dobbs), J F Gay (Master T Dobbs), W Dansie (Pat Rooney), G Daw (Farrier's Boy), J Durney (Julia Ledger), J Davies (Mrs Dobbs), B Buckley (Jemima Damper).
During the following interval J M M'Kechnie and J Davies]] sang a comic duet.
This was followed by a third production entitled The Irish Tutor. Starring J M'Kechnie (Mr Tillwell), F Girton (Charley, his son), J F Gay (Dr Flail, a schoolmaster), W Dansie (Terry o'Rourke as Dr O'Toole), T Paterson (Beadle), B Sheeran (A countryman), J Davies (Rosa, in love with Charley), and J Durney (Mary, her maid).
"The performance was, on the whole, very successful, and the actors had the satisfaction of playing to a full house, which was a novelty in their South African experiences. "The little Garrison Theatre was crowded to excess by people from the village, and the officers and men of the Regiment, all of who appeared much pleased with the efforts made for their amusement. "M'Kechnie's acting and singing was, as usual, excellent, and Gay's ludicrous personification of Master T Dobbs in the second piece kept the house in a continued roar of laughter. "Corporal Davies is too well known to our readers to require any notice at our hands. "Dansie made a famous "Pat Rooney" in The Omnibus, and an equally good "Terry O'Rourke" in The Irish Tutor, and Daw disposed of his short part of the "Farrier's Boy" in The Omnibus so well, that we would suggest a higher position for him in the next cast of characters. -The North Lincoln Sphinx regimental periodical.
1861: Vol. One, The North Lincoln Sphinx regimental periodical by the Officers and Men, Second Battalion of the Tenth of North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot, Keiskama Hoek.
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