David Bloomberg

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David Bloomberg (1932-) Cape Town attorney, liberal politician, anti-apartheid campaigner, theatre columnist, theatre director and author.


Born in Sea Point, Cape Town and educated at Christian Brothers’ College and the University of Cape Town, he was the son of Abe Bloomberg, a prominent lawyer, socialite and one of Cape Town’s most successful mayors, and Miriam Bloomberg, a former ballerina.

He entered his father’s law firm, becoming a well known advocate and was a member of the Cape Town City Council for twenty years. He became the youngest mayor of Cape Town in 1973 at the age of 41, with a conspicuous interest in the arts and celebrated for his defence of the less privileged members of the Cape community. In this time he wrote a book called Meet The People (1975).

He was married to Toby Fine, also a distinguished ballet dancer and theatre supporter.

In 1988, he and his wife moved to England where she underwent surgery, and finally settled in Lugano, Switzerland, though he remained a frequent visitor to Cape Town.

Here he has developed as a writer, his works including My Times (an autobiography, 2007), Won’t Forgive… Can’t Forget (2006), The Chain Gang: Mayors who Served in Cape Town's City Hall (2011), and The Don ... Story of an Actor (2014).

His contribution to South African theatre

He first came into the public eye however as a theatre producer and director. As an impresario he brought a number of famous performers to Cape Town and produced and directed many acclaimed theatre productions between 1956 and 1967. His father had a big house in Constantia, Cape Town, and in the 1960's David converted an outbuilding into a theatre called The Barn, where he produced and directed a number of significant plays, using top-class South African actors, including Helen Bourne, Leonard Schach, Johann Nell, Yvonne Bryceland, Percy Sieff, Erica Rogers, Cobus Rossouw, and many others. Among the plays he directed over the years were ***, ***. (??). He later went into partnership with Percy Tucker and started presenting tours of international artists and entertainers, calling the business South African Theatrical Enterprises and . Together they brought Murray Banks to South Africa in 1960. A perceptive and creative director, he travelled abroad looking for plays, and argued against the move towards the cultural boycott. He was for a while also on the CAPAB board and closely involved with the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra.

For a while he was also a theatre columnist for the Cape Times.


Toffoli and Silber, 1989;

Percy Tucker, 1997

David Green review, artSMart 3 December, 2007[1]


Business Day Live,6 August 2012 [2]

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