Adam Leslie Theatre

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The Adam Leslie Theatre was a popular Johannesburg theatre between 1967 and 1975.

The venue


Established in End Street, Doornfontein, Johannesburg in what was originally built to house the College of Music founded by a Mr Tressi. The building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1905 and built in 1906. In 1913 Mr Tressi disappeared, and by 1918 the building was empty and neglected. It was subsequently used for the SOS Boot Company for five years, before being bought by the Sunshine Macaroni Factory and served them as till 1963, when they moved to larger and newer premises.

Acquired by Adam Leslie and Bill Hudson in 1966, who restored and converted it into a theatre (seating 230) with restaurant and bar, to recreate the music-hall ambience of London Players’ Theatre and the social life of Johannesburg in 1880s. (Also referred to as Adam Leslie's Theatre and Restaurant in the South African Casting Directory. )

Construction of the theatre was overseen by Andre Hoffe.

Performances 1967-1975

Adam Leslie's own work

The theatre Opened its doors on 27 August 1967 with Leslie's Music Hall Revue, directed and designed by Anthony Farmer and running for six months. . followed by the revue Strike it Rich (1967), starring himself, Joan Blake, George Korelin and Judy Layne. Marjorie Gordon replaced Joan during the run. Other Adam Leslie shows included Adam’s Laugh-In and Adam Scrapes the Barrel (1975), which proved to be the last show at the theatre, which closed 31 December, 1975.

Other work

Besides Leslie's own work the space was also utilized for many other productions and over the years had promoted the careers of many performers, including Joan Blake, Heather Lloyd-Jones, Diane Wilson, Richard Loring and Shelagh Holliday.


Tucker, Percy 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

Ian Gray 1973. There's a theatre on the way upstairs. In: Showbiz South Africa. June, 1973: p.42.

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