Tot Nut en Vermaak en Door Yver Vruchtbaar

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Tot Nut en Vermaak en Door Yver Vruchtbaar ("For Use and Entertainment and Prolific Through Diligence"), also known as Het Privaat Hollandsch Toneellievend Gezelschap ("The Private Dutch Amateur Company") was a Dutch amateur company founded in Cape Town in 1844.

The company

Formed in 1844 from the amalgamation of the two companies Tot Nut en Vermaak and Door Yver Vruchtbaar, the company began to perform under the combined motto of "Tot Nut en Vermaak en Door Yver Vruchtbaar", by which name they were to become known for a brief period.

Unlike the English companies at the time the Dutch allowed actresses in their company. They were very active in 1844-45, then slightly less so in 1846, before picking up again in their final year. It's productions were normally well-received, with good reviews throughout 1844/5, but by 1847 their support amongst the Dutch-speaking public had unfortunately waned to such an extent that the company disbanded shortly thereafter. It is likely, however, that the members of this company went on to form the core of Hoop en Trouw, which was founded in 1848, while other members possibly became involved in founding Door Yver Bloeit de Kunst in the following year.

The productions

Their first production took place on 5 June 1844 and consisted of performances of Natuur en Pligt (Volmeranges) and De Dronkaard (Kotzebue) in the Roeland Street Theatre. Among their other pieces in this period are Eleonora van Rosalba, De Kalkoen van Breda, Armoede en Grootheid, Het Huishouden van Jan Steen, Carolina en Walmond, of De Geboete Misstap, De St. Nicholaas Avond, of Het Bezoek door den Schoorsteen, De Trouwring, De Engelsche Goederen, Het Kasteel van Tourville, of De Hollandsche Zeelieden in Frankryk, Vier Schildwachten op eenen Post, Montoni, of Het Kasteel van Udolpho, Loon der Waarheid, Uilenspiegel

Pieces performed in 1846/7 included Roland de Monglave, of De Zegepraal der Onschuld, Het Misverstand, of Elk is een Dief in zyne Nering, Volsan, of De Menschenhater Door Tegenspoed, De Kalkoen van Breda, Valvaise en Adelaide, of De Zegepraal der Vriendschap over de Liefde, De Listige Weduwe, of De Temperamenten, De Burgemeester, De Bloemenkrans, of De Minnaar in den Boom, De Ortenbergsche Familie, De Eerste April, Robert, of De Struikroovers, De Gevaarlyke Buurman, De Lauwerkrans, of Het Gezag der Wetten, Een Uur Achter Slot, of De Brief van Aanbeveling, Gustavus, of De Zweedsche Mynwerkers, and De Dubbelde Vader.

Finally on 2 November 1847 it was announced that the company would stage its last production, reason being insufficient support from the Dutch community. They performed De Baron van Felsheim (Bernos) and Uilenspiegel (Kotzebue) on this occasion.


[JH/TH]

Sources

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp. 445-452

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