Private Amateur Company

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The Private Amateur Company was was the name given to two amateur theatrical companies active in Cape Town in the 19th century.

The Private Amateur Company 1834-1837

It seems to have been formed by members of citizens of Cape Town on the demise of Booth’s All the World's a Stage in 1834. Probably a continuation of the original English Theatricals and its members no doubt become part of the other private companies that followed after its own demise in and the closure of The African Theatre in 1838 and the anti-theatrical movement's effect on theatre in Cape Town.

They usually performed under the patronage of the governor, in itially in The Amateur Theatre (1834 and 1835), then in the Cape Town Theatre (1837-1838), a periof when when they were referred to as the Private Amateur Party and even on occasion the English Amateur Company.

Their performances included:

The Private Amateur Company 1847

In 1847 there is another reference to a company of this name in Cape Town (active circa 1843-1847), though it is also named the Private English Amateur Theatrical Company or the English Private Theatricals.

They played in the De Hollandse Skouburg ("Dutch Theatre") in Roeland Street , popularly known as the Roeland Street Theatre, and their secretary was A. van Breda. It appears to have been made up of mainly Dutch-speaking players (including E.G. de Roubaix, Maynier, De Wahl, Combrink, etc.), even though performing in English.

Groom describes attending a performance of The Miller and His Men in 1843, and they did The Castle Spectre (Lewis) (twice), with Comfortable Lodgings (Peake) the afterpiece its final performance on 6 November 1847.


Bosman 1928, pp 416-7.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

[TH, JH]


F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp. 204, 206, 416-7

P.J. du Toit, 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica

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