David Kramer

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KRAMER, David. (1951-) Singer, musician, composer, playwright and director. Primarily known for his tranformation of South African music, and the enhancement of non-standard Cape Afrikaans (or "Kaaps") as a musical vehicle. Born in Worcester, he learnt to play the guitar and wrote music at an early age, playing in a band called The Creeps during his schooldays. Originally trained as a textile designer at Leeds University (1971-74), but discovered a need to write songs expressing and interpreting the South African reality. Began writing and singing songs based ona mix of rock, Afrikaans folk songs and township music, despite his revulsion of the Nationalist regime. His musical albums include Bakgat (1980 - banned by the SABC in 1981), The Story of Blokkies Joubert (198*) and Royal Hotel (198*) and **. These, combined with his popular public appearances and the immensely entertaining series of Volkswagen Minibus adverts starring Kramer made him a household name and face in the 1980s.

Working with Barney Simon on his show The Jol at the Market Theatre, he became interested in theatrical work. In 1987 he co-wrote and directed the musical hit District Six – The Musical with Taliep Petersen, then followed with Fairyland (1990), Crooners (1991), Poison (1992, 1994), Kat and the Kings (1995) and Klop-Klop (“Knock-knock”- 1997). Also collaborated with Paul Slabolepszy on The Eyes of their Whites (1990) at the Edinburgh Festival.

In 2000 Kramer directed Marc Lottering in From the Cape Flats with Love, and in 2001 compiled and directed Big Stakes and Slap Chips with Lottering. In 2001 also co-wrote (with Jody Abrahams and Gaerin Hauptfleisch) Die Ballade van Koos Sas and put together the haunting musical project Karoo Kitaar Blues, with untutored musicians from farms and towns (2001-2003).

Kramer did his first productions**? under the label Blik Productions and for ** years (1990-1996) he and his wife Renaye Kramer ran The Dock Road Theatre in the Cape Town’s waterfront development. He and Renaye went on to form a production company David Kramer Productions?* Winner of numerous awards over the years for his music as well as his theatre work. This includes the Fleur du Cap Award for Best Contribution to a Musical or Revue for Kat and the Kings (1999) and the revival of District Six (2002), and a Laurence Olivier Award as Best New Musical in 1999 for Kat and the Kings, all of which he shared with Taliep Petersen.

KRAMER, David. Together with Taliep Petersen he created the musical District Six – The Musical which ran at the Baxter Theatre for six months in 1987 before moving to the Market Theatre in February 1988. Together with Taliep Petersen he created Poison which was staged at the Nico Malan Theatre in 1992. At the same time their Fairyland was staged at the Dock Road Theatre and Crooners was staged at the City Lights Theatre. ***(Tucker, 1997)

KRAMER, David & Taliep Petersen, District Six – The Musical, 2002. Karoo Kitaar Blues, Baxter Theatre, 2001. KRAMER directed Marc Lottering in From the Cape Flats with Love (2000), Big Stakes and Slap Chips (2001), Hallelujah!, and also directed 3 Wiser Men (2008-9), Orpheus in Africa (2015-2016)


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