Bill Brewer

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Bill Brewer (19**-1984) Actor, radio personality and theatre and film critic.

Biography

Youth

Training

Career

Working for the Sunday Times, he was one of the most influential national theatre and film critics of the 1950s and 1960s, not only writing reviews, but a regular column as well .


Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Came to South Africa in 1948 with a show called Seeing Stars/ Singing Stars (??*)

As stage actor Bill performed in revue, cabaret, plays, pantomime, musicals and one man shows over the years. He made his first appearance for the Johannesburg Reps in Dear Charles in 1955. Other roles: The Desperate Hours (produced by Taubie Kushlick at His Majesty’s Theatre in association with ACT, 1955), Tickle the Kitty (1957) produced by Stanley Nathan at the City Hall, Port Elizabeth, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (NTO, 1958), The Cat and the Canary, The Fire Raisers early 1960s, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (as “Mayor Pointdexter” and “Senator Wingwoah”), The Seagull (Upstairs Theatre at the Market Theatre, 1976), Comedians (Market Theatre, 1976), **.

In the variety line the did items such as Hugo Keleti’s Variety Under the Stars series (at the Plastic Theatre, which showcased light local entertainment) and dinner theatre at the Nederburg Restaurant in Johannesburg, where he performed in Letters of Love, Lust and Loving.

As radio actor he and his wife Fiona Fraser long had a popular radio programme entitled ***.

He wrote the play Players Progress.

He also did films, including The Hellions (1961) The Diamond Walkers (1965), The Jackals (1967), Oupa For Sale (1968) Sandy the Seal (1969) and the 1974 Roger Moore film, Gold.

According to G.J. Joubert Bill Brewer of the Sunday Times is tuned into and reflects the likes and dislikes of the average Johannesburg theatre-goer. He has acquired a broad practical experience of various branches of show business.

Awards, etc

Sources

Tickle the Kitty theatre programme, 1957.

Joubert, G.J. 1974.

Schwartz, 1988.

Tucker, 1997.

SACD 1973, Limelight 1978/79; 1980/81; 1981/82.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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