Adrienne Sichel

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Adrienne Sichel (19*-) is a journalist and dance and theatre reviewer and critic.


After graduating from the University of Natal (Speech and Drama and English) she began her journalistic career as a news reporter at The Pretoria News in 1970. In 1978 she became an entertainment writer and was appointed arts editor in 1981. On transferring to The Star Tonight! in Johannesburg, in 1983, she coupled her passion for indigenous theatre and performance, plus the development of South African contemporary dance, with her mainstream theatre beats.

Sichel, who is employed by The Star newspaper in Johannesburg as Senior Specialist Writer: theatre and dance, on the national daily entertainment supplement Tonight, has broadened her horizons as a critic nationally, internationally and on the African continent. She is working on “Body Politics – Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance’’ a brief history on contemporary dance in South Africa.

In 1987, in collaboration with fellow journalist Marilyn Poole, and arts visionary Philip Stein, Sichel developed the concept of South Africa’s Dance Umbrella as a free, democratic platform for all South Africa’s dance forms. Dance Umbrella was launched in 1989 and celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2009 with an international profile.

Awards, etc.

Awards she has received in the past include: AA Life Theatre Journalist of the Year Award (1987); Special award from Market Theatre Laboratory co-founders John Kani and Barney Simon for making the public aware of community theatre (1992); Inaugural Arts and Culture Trust of the President's Theatre Journalist of the Year Award (1998); Acknowledged by the Southern African Theatre Initiative for 25 years of excellence in theatre journalism and arts activism(2003) and A living legend award from the Vukani Community Theatre, in Katlehong (2005).

In 2009 she was presented with the annual Tunkie Award at the Gauteng MEC Contemporary Choreography and Dance Awards presentation.


Some of her many contributions include an article on "Paul Slabolepszy", published in Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer and Greg Homann (editors). 2015. The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.


Material held by NELM.

Go to the ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities S

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page