THE ACADEMY THEATRE
Opened by Hymie Udwin in November 1967 in a building at the corner of Wolmarans and Rissik Street, in Johannesburg – originally called Happiness House. Productions for the theatre were done by Academy Theatre Productions. After a disappointing opening production of the American comedy The Owl and the Pussycat (directed by Joan Brickhill and Louis Burke) Udwin changed tack and dedicated the Academy Theatre to the staging of farce and renamed it theAcademy Theatre of Laughter, although it remained The Academy to most people. It would mount its own productions, but was on occasion used by other companies, sometines in partnership with the Academy Theatre Productions. In 197* Dave Levin took over from Hymie Udwin and in 198* Roger Leclerq and Louis Balkind in turn took over management of the theatre from Levin. They renamed the theatre The Siegfried Mynhardt in 1984. (See also Academy Theatre of Laughter and The Siegfried Mynhardt) (Tucker, 1997) Academy Theatre/Productions: Situated in a building at the corner of Wolmarans and Rissik Street, in Johannesburg – originally called Happiness House. It was opened by Hymie Udwin in November 1967. The opening production was the American comedy The Owl and the Pussycat, starring Barbara Kinghorn and Christopher Galloway. It was directed by Joan Brickhill and Louis Burke. Rex Garner’s productions of Chase Me Comrade and The Man Most Likely To was staged here in 1969. It starred Leslie Phillips. They leased the Brooke Theatre to stage Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend with Jo-Ann Pezarro and Richard Loring in the same year. Brian Rix starred in Reluctant Heroes at the Academy Theatre in the Seventies. Hymie’s Academy obtained the rights to West Side Story and it was staged at the Alexander Theatre in 1970. It starred Michael Harrison, Patricia Arnell, Lynton Burns and Richard Loring, Delia Sainsbury and Keith Galloway. Kip Andrews directed and choreographed while Anthony Farmer did the set design. Paul Jannsen was the stage director, Joy Raphael oversaw public relations and Lorraine Jaffit-Greenberg acted as production secretary. It later moved to the Empire Theatre before leaving for Cape Town. Together with Hymie Udwin’s Academy Theatre Productions, and in collaboration with PACT they presented Max Adrian’s one-man show of readings from George Bernard Shaw at the Alexander in 1971. Together with Langford-Inglis, Hymie’s Academy Theatre Productions, collaborated with PACT to present Max Adrian’s one-man show of readings from George Bernard Shaw at the Alexander in 1971. The Jockey Club Stakes, starring Geoffrey Sumner and Basil Lord, was staged here in 1971. Move Over Mrs. Markham, directed by Ray Cooney and written by Cooney and John Chapman was also staged in the same year. It became the company’s longest-running farce. Rex Garner directed Ken Smith, Diane Appleby and Erica Rogers in Boeing-Boeing for the Academy in 1972. He also directed John Hayter, Peter Elliott and Ian Drummond in The Brass Hat for them at the Brooke Theatre in 1972.
They brought out English actor David Tomlinson  to direct A Friend Indeed and staged Funzapoppin' at the Brooke Theatre in 1973. They presented Birds of Paradise directed by Michael Pertwee and starring Rex Garner, George Korelin, Melody O'Brian and Pat Sanders in 1974 and 1975. Lloyd George Knew My Father starring Margaret Inglis and Andrew Cruickshank was staged here in 1974. Their production of Who Saw Him Die? was staged at the Nico Malan Theatre as the first performance in front of an integrated audience, on 21 February 1975. Rex Garner and Penny Croft starred in the comedy Why Not Stay for Breakfast? at the Academy in1976. Birds of Paradise played a return season here in 1976. The musical revue Cole, based on the life of Cole Porter was a co-production between Hymie Udwin and Sir Bernard Miles and presented by the Academy at the Brooke Theatre in November 1976. In association with The Company they staged Murray Schisgal’s Broadway comedy Luv, directed by Barney Simon with Wilson Dunster, Janice Honeyman and James White at Upstairs at the Market in 1977. They presented Don't Just Lie There, Say Something starring Rex Garner, John Hayter, George Korelin and Melody O'Brian and Fringe Benefits starring Rex Garner and Erica Rogers in 1977.
Rex Garner also directed a musical version of Not Now Darling called Once More, Darling with Erica Rogers, David Morton, Derek Royle and Patricia Sanders for them in 1977. Rex Garner presented There Goes the Bride and The Loudest Tears in Town at the Academy in 1978. Academy Productions presented Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques in A Hatful of Sykes at the Civic Theatre in 1979. Rex Garner directed himself, Melody O'Brian and George Korelin in What More Could She Want at the Alexander Theatre, before bringing it to the Academy in 1979. They brought back Birds of Paradise in 1979. Academy Productions presented Ernest Thomson’s On Golden Pond starring Clifford Mollison, Margo Johns, Clare Marshall and Robin Dolton with direction by Rex Garner in 1979. They also staged Michael Frayn’s Clouds, directed by Stockton Briggles and starring Nicholas Ellenbogen and Andre Hattingh in 1979. They presented For Love or Money at the Alexander Theatre starring Jimmy Logan in 1979. Doctor on the Boil, directed by Rex Garner, with Geoffrey Sumner was staged here in 1979.
Roy Sargeant’s production of Send for Dolly with Norman Coombes, Christine Basson, Michele Maxwell and Jacques Loots was staged here in 1980. Patrick Mynhardt starred in More Jerepigo in 1980. Jimmy Logan directed and adapted the play The Bed starring Bruce Millar, Melody O'Brian, John Lesley and Diane Appleby here in 1980. Robert Kirby and Terry Lester staged Academy Rewards here in 1981. They hosted the Baxter Theatre production of Seer in the Suburbs, the English translation of P.G. du Plessis’s Siener in die Suburbs starring Dale Cutts, Trudie Taljaard, Bo Petersen and Marcel van Heerden in 1981. Pieter Toerien and Shirley Firth staged Robert Kirby’s It's a Boy! starring Charles Comyn, Anne Power and John Hayter with direction by Keith Grenville which moved here on the 2 February 1983 from the Intimate Theatre. Baxter productions presented Anyone for Denis? starring John Lesley and Erica Rogers and directed by Keith Grenville here in 1983.
Roger Leclerq and Louis Balkind took over management of the Academy from Dave Levin who had taken over from Hymie Udwin previously. They renamed the Academy The Siegfried Mynhardt in 1984. (see The Siegfried Mynhardt) *** (Tucker, 1997) ACADEMY THEATRE (****-****) Johannesburg. Owned and operated by A.T. Stage Productions (pty.)LTD. Hymie Udwin was the Executive director (from 19** to 19**), Paul Janssen the Stage director (from 19** to ****) and Tim Heale the production manager (from 19** to ****).
A.T. STAGE PRODUCTIONS (PTY) LTD.
The registered name for Academy Theatre Productions, which owned and operated the Academy Theatre.
ACADEMY THEATRE PRODUCTIONS
Founded in 1967 by Hymie Udwin, primarily to produce plays in The Academy Theatre of Laughter, though they often rented other theatres for more elaborate shows, or collaborated with other companies over the years. Their opening production was the American comedy The Owl and the Pussycat (1967) Many production were to follow, including One for the Pot (1967), Uproar in the House (1968), Not Now, Darling (1968), Chase Me Comrade (1969), The Man Most Likely To (1969), The Boy Friend (at the Brooke Theatre, 1969), Reluctant Heroes (197*), West Side Story (at the Alexander Theatre, 1970), Max Adrian’s one-man show of readings from George Bernard Shaw (in collaboration with PACT and the Langford-Inglis Company, at the Alexander Theatre, 1971), The Lionel Touch, (Alexander Theatre, 1971), The Jockey Club Stakes (1971), Move over Mrs Markham (1971), She's Done it Again (1971), Boeing-Boeing (1972), The Brass Hat (at the Brooke Theatre, 1972), A Friend Indeed (1973), Funzapoppin’ (at the Brooke Theatre, 1973), Birds of Paradise (1974, 1975, 1976, 1979), Lloyd George Knew My Father (1974), Who Saw Him Die (1975. This production was also staged at the Nico Malan as the first performance in front of an integrated audience, on 21 February 1975), Why Not Stay for Breakfast? (1976), Cole (in collaboration with Sir Bernard Miles, 1976), Luv (in association with The Company, at Upstairs at the Market, 1977), Don’t Just Lie There (1977), Say Something (1977), Fringe Benefits (1977), a musical version of Not Now Darling called Once More, Darling (1977), There Goes the Bride (1978), The Loudest Tears in Town (1978), A Hatful of Sykes (at the Civic Theatre, 1979), What More Could She Want (at the Alexander Theatre and the Academy, 1979), On Golden Pond (1979), Clouds (1979), For Love or Money (at the Alexander, 1979), Doctor on the Boil (1979), Roy Sargeant’s production of Send for Dolly (1980), Patrick Mynhardt’s More Jerepigo (1980), The Bed (1980), Academy Rewards (1981), the Baxter Theatre production of Seer in the Suburbs (1981), Pieter Toerien and Shirley Firth’s production of It’s a Boy (1983), the Baxter Theatre production of Anyone for Denis? (1983). (see also Academy Theatre, Academy Theatre of Laughter and The Siegfried Mynhardt) (Tucker, 1997)
THE ACADEMY THEATRE OF LAUGHTER
See The Academy Theatre . (See also The Academy Theatre and The Siegfried Mynhardt) (Tucker, 1997) The Academy Theatre of Laughter: Hymie Udwin dedicated the Academy Theatre to the staging of farce and renamed it the Academy Theatre of Laughter. In December they presented One for the Pot by Ray Cooney and Tony Hilton. Hymie, Yango John and Dave Levin imported Colin Welland and Basil Lord to star in this production, directed by Lord. Uproar in the House was staged here in July 1967, starring Rex Garner, Patricia Sanders, Gordon Mulholland, Hal Orlandini and Kenneth Baker. Ray Cooney’s Not Now, Darling, also directed by, and starring Cooney, together with Rex Garner, was staged next in 1967. Rex Garner directed The Lionel Touch, starring Joe Stewardson, Vivienne Drummond, Kenneth Baker and Diane Appleby for them at the Alexander in 1971. They staged She’s Done it Again, with Tammy Bonell as stage-manager in 1971. *** (Tucker, 1997)
THE SIEGFRIED MYNHARDT THEATRE
In 1984 Roger Leclerq and Louis Balkind took over management of the Academy Theatre from Dave Levin (who had taken over from Hymie Udwin previously) and renamed it the Siegfried Mynhardt Theatre. It did a few productions and was then ruined by a fire in 1984.
See further Siegfried Mynhardt Theatre.
See further La Parisienne
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