Don Hughes

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Don Hughes (1930s-2016) was a theatre producer and impresario,

Active in all facets of the entertainment, from legitimate theatre tours, through casino and theme park entertainment to television and feature films.


Born in Johannesburg in the 1930s, he became an apprentice printers engineer, studying at the Durban Technical College (now known as the Durban University of Technology) for Printers Engineer (1950 – 1957), then working as an Assistant Chief Engineer for API Industries (April 1956 – January 1957).

After a brief stint as a pianist, he founded and became president of President his own company, Don Hughes Consolidated Holdings Ltd (1960 – April 1977), overseeing a Theatrical Agency, 14 discotheques, 3 theatres, a music publishing company, a record production company and hotel reservation company, all owned and operated by the Don Hughes Consolidated Holdings.

In 1977 he moved to the USA to become the President/CEO of International Attractions Inc in Beverly Hills, California (April 1977 – December 1984), a theatrical production company arranging tours for inter alia The Peking Acrobats, the Rustavi Company, the Las Vegas production and the world tour of the South African musical Ipi-Tombi, the Phantom of the Opera. The company was also the owner of the Mayfair Theatre in Santa Monica.

In 1984 he moved again, to become the President/CEO of IAI Presentations Inc. (January 1984 – 2016)The company produced and toured worldwide with The Peking Acrobats(r) Jigu Thunder Drums of China (r), Moscow Boys Choir(r) and the Shangri-La Chinese acrobats(r) as well as many major attractions from Russia. . Dates EmployedFeb Employment Durationbefore moving on to his extensive work in the theatre in South Africa, in the US, and internationally, with some of the biggest name stars from the late 50’s to the present day.

Retired December 2016 and died August 7, 2017 in Pismo Beach, California.

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

Director of Don Hughes Organisation and Don Hughes Productions.

He staged a Dinner Theatre production, You'll Come To Love Your Sperm Test, at the Langham Hotel in 1967.

Together with Taubie Kushlick he presented Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, based on Ingmar Bergman’s film, Smiles of a Summer’s Night. Kushlick directed Maggie Fitzgibbon, Eric Flynn, Hal Watters, Erica Rogers and herself in this play which opened late October 1975 at His Majesty's Theatre.

Also did Joe Orton's farce What the Butler Saw at the President Theatre, Plein street, Johannesburg, directed by Aubrey Berg ? (Year unknown).


Tucker, 1997. 225, 311, 327.

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