Douglas Livingstone

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Douglas Livingstone (b. Kuala Lumpur, 5/1/1932; d.Durban 19/2/1996). Acclaimed poet, dramatist and highly regarded marine bacteriologist.


Born in Malaya but immigrated to South Africa at age ten, where he lived mostly in Durban. Worked on tobacco farms in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and as a scuba diver on the Kariba Dam. From 1959 to 1963 he was head of the pathological diagnostic laboratory at Kabwe General Hospital in Zambia. From 1964 he worked on the microbiology of marine pollution in the sea off Durban.


Educated in Malaya, Australia and South Africa (schools in Margate and Port Shephstone, and at Kearney College). Qualified as a bacteriologist in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in 1958.

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

The author of three plays :

The Sea my Winding Sheet (broadcast 1964, awarded BBC/Federal Broadcasting Corporation Prize 1963; staged 1971 by the Natal Theatre Workshop Company, published 1981)

A Rhino for the Boardroom (broadcast 1974, winner of the Olive Schreiner Prize, 1975, published 1977)

The Semblance of the Real (staged 1976 by University of Natal, Department of Speech and Drama, published 1984).

Other works

Volumes of poetry include:

The Skull in the Mud (London, 1960)

Sjambok and Other Poems from Africa (London, 1964)

Eyes Against the Sun (London, 1970)

A Rosary of Bone (Cape Town, 1975)

Awards, etc.

The Olive Schreiner Prize for Drama (1975)

Recipient of honorary doctorates from the Universities of Natal (1982) and Rhodes (1990).


(See De Beer, 19**; Gosher 1988) [TH.JH]

Ernest Pereira. (ed). Contemporary South African Plays.1977. Ravan Press.

Stephen Gray. (ed.) Theatre One. 1978. AD Donker.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities L

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to Main Page