Ellis Pearson

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Ellis Pearson (19**-). Mime, clown and actor.


He is well known for his very athletic mimed imitations of animals. Studied drama at the Drama Department, University of Natal, Durban, later trained at the Jaques le Coq school in Paris. Worked with Nicholas Ellenbogen’s Loft Theatre Company at NAPAC and later the Theatre for Africa group, also run by Ellenbogen.

Played lead roles in Horn of Sorrow (1988?**), ****, Elephant of Africa and Guardians of Eden*. He later joined Bheki Mkhwane, and the two of them have produced and toured theatre for children and youth, including A Boy Called Rubbish, Kaboom! and Amazwi Omoya (1998-9) and Skadonk (2000), nationally and internationally.

Pearson also played the central figure of the silent clown in the highly regarded 1997 South African film Paljas, released in 1998.

Other productions include Khaya in the Sky, Hunch (1995), IKisimus Box, The Soldier's Tale (Stravinsky music), A Nativity (1990), Frank'n'stein, Kwamanzi (1985), Raiders of the Lost Aardvark, Clown, The Royal Hunt of the Sun.

He designed Gathering of the Beasts (1991).

He directed Born Thru the Nose by Greig Coetzee and Bheki Mkhwane, Market Theatre, Sue Clarence production, 17 January to 25 February 2007.

Awards, etc.

Nominee 1991: A Nativity (Sunday Star/Johannesburg Critics circle Award for best actor in a supporting role in English).

Ellis won the Vita Award (National) in 1991 for his role as Half-Jack in A Nativity and in 1994 Vita Awards (KZN) with David Dennis in two categories for Frank'n'stein.


Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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