Fiona Fraser

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Fiona Fraser (1928-2006) Actress, writer, director and teacher.

Biography

Born in London, England, where she began her theatrical career which included appearances in the West End, radio, television and film. Came to South Africa in 1956, where she met, worked with and later married the radio personality and critic Bill Brewer. They have one daughter, Thandi Brewer.

Youth

Training

She gained her LTCL from Trinity College, London.

At the age of 73 obtained a B.A. Honours in English Literature from UNISA.


Career

Worked for various companies, including Taubie Kushlick, the Cockpit Players and PACT.

She also taught speech and drama and later became a Fellow of Trinity College (becoming the vocal coach for the films Sarafina and Cry the Beloved Country for example).


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

Performed the one-woman show A Woman’s World – And Other Troubles. Played “Hester” in Equus, in Home at the Baxter Theatre and in Letters of Love, Lust and Living.

Forty Carats at the Alexander Theatre in 1971, Equus in 1975, The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll 1958.

She had stage roles in Leonard Schach’s Cockpit Players production of Basil Warner’s Try for White (1958?), The Marriage-Go-Round (Taubie Kushlick’s production, the Intimate Theatre, 1959), William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker (Cockpit Players, the Playhouse in 1961), Two for the Seesaw (Cockpit Players, Cape Town, 1961), King Lear (PACT, 196*), Varya in The Cherry Orchard and Pegeen Mike in The Playboy of the Western World, both PACT productions, 1963, Ring Round the Moon (PACT 1964).

Other productions include The Affair, The Devils, Rashomon, The Miser, Romeo and Jeanette, A Touch of the Poet, What is Love?, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Ring Round the Moon, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Rookery Nook, A Winter Vacation, Everything in the Garden.

She directed Rebecca in 1969.

On occasion she has directed some of PACTs’s school programmes.

With her husband Bill Brewer she also wrote texts for and performed on radio during the early years (including the popular ***). In later years she focused on television and film work, such as Egoli, the "Dot and Tchalie" Ithuba adverts, 37 Honey Street, 102 Paradise Lane, For Sale and Bentley.

Wrote several literary reviews which were presented by PACT and other managements and in later years wrote and performed a popular one woman show Growing Old Disgracefully. Became one of the Star's team of television critics and ran regular seminars on presentation skills and communication techniques.

Awards, etc

She was chosen actress of the year for her performance in The Miracle Worker, 1961.

She won a Naledi Lifetime Achiever Award, February 2005.

Sources

SACD 1973; 1975/76; 1979/80; 1980/81.

Ring Round the Moon programme notes, 1964.

Tucker, 1997.

The Star, 15 February 2005.

The Citizen, 11 January 2007.

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