STANDARD THEATRE (JOHANNESBURG]
[SOUTH AFRICAN THEATRE] … Stephen Black and his South African Players in A Backveld Boer …
[Johannesburg] : African Theatres, Ltd. . Promotional card for A Backveld Boer‘s season at the Standard Theatre, Johannesburg, commencing Saturday 23 March ; lithographed in black on blue card, 123 x 203 mm, printed both sides, illustrated with a portrait of Stephen Black and line-drawn illustration of the protagonist; superb condition.
This rare flyer bills Stephen Black (1880-1931) as “South Africa’s only playwright”. His play A Backveld Boer was a comedy in three acts which premiered in January 1929 at Cape Town’s Tivoli Theatre, and then enjoyed a season at the Standard Theatre in Johannesburg. The play was presented by African Theatres, and starred Eva Moss, Cobie Court, Samuel Tertis, Alfred Whitehorn, Sidney Wheeler, Stephen Black, Frikkie Page, Judy Grace, Arthur Scott, Nelisone.
‘Stephen William Black (1880, Claremont, Cape – 1931) was a South African playwright, who has been called “South Africa’s first professional dramatist”. Schooled in his twenties, Black earnt money as a boxer and journalist before the success of his satirical farce Love and the Hyphen in 1908. For the next two decades, Black was dramatist, actor and manager for a theatre company which toured his plays through South Africa and Rhodesia, ‘from Wynberg to the Victoria Falls’. Despite Black’s popular commercial success, his plays were never published in his own lifetime. He published two novels under the pseudonym T. Werner Laurie.’