Geraldine Aron (1941-) is an Irish-born dramatist, poet, lyricist, journalist, copywriter.
Born in Galway, in the Republic of Ireland in 1941 and educated in Dublin and London. Exploring the world, she lived in Zimbabwe and Zambia and came to South Africa as a newly wed. She lived in Cape Town between 1967 and 1983, where she became the mother of twin daughters and continued her career as an advertising copywriter. The death of her younger brother prompted her first narrative poem, BAR and GER. It was adapted for theatre and thus began her career as a playwright . She says her best work was written (and continues to be written) in Cape Town, mainly because of the wonderful start she got at The Space Theatre.
Now living in London, she returns to Cape Town for several months every year and her work continues to be produced in South African venues. She also writes travel pieces for Holiday Magazine, (Ireland) , Savanna Magazine (South Africa), Explorer Magazine (Visa) and Winescape Magazine (South Africa).
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
While much of her early work was first performed in South Africa, her work has since been performed to acclaim internationally.
For the stage
She began her career as playwright at the Space Theatre, Cape Town, when her short, poignant ode to her brother, a verse dialogue called Bar and Ger (1975), was successfully staged with Yvonne Bryceland and Wilson Dunster (1978). Most of her earlier works were performed at The Space Theatre, and after the closing of The Space, by CAPAB, the Baxter Theatre, and other companies, till her return to England in 1983, where she continued her career.
Works produced during her South African period include:
A Galway Girl The Space Theatre, Cape Town and Druid Theatre, Galway, 1979)
While at The Space she sometimes collaborated with others, writing the final text and lyrics for 12 songs for, Zombie, a production based on a storyline and initial text conceived by Brian Astbury (The Space Theatre, Cape Town; the Port Elizabeth Opera House) and was a contributor to the satirical pieces The Disguise of the Ashes that arose out of the Karnaval at Scarborough to prove that Leonardo was Right - an investigation of guilt and The Final Sting of the Dying Wasp.
Many of her South African plays have been published, eleven collected in Seven Plays and Four Monologues (David Philip, 1985), while many plays have appeared in other collections or as single plays as Samuel French acting editions.
In 1983 she returned to the UK, and has continued writing plays there. Her work since includes
Olive and Hilary The Arts Theatre, Ireland
The Donahue Sisters, (with The Stanley Parkers), Druid theatre company, , Galway, Ireland, 1990 (also Dublin Theatre Festival, Wimbledon Studio Theatre, London, Edinburgh Festival. Irish Arts Theatre, New York);
My Brilliant Divorce, (Druid, in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, Ireland, 2001 2003, 2007-2010, and the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End, 2004, where it garners an Olivier nomination for Best Entertainment.) Produced in 28 countries with an on going, record -breaking 14 year run in Prague.
Other plays, not written or produced in South Africa include Miracle Conway, Namaste, Mr Roper and Auntie Essie (also available as a double bill, under the title Sitting Tenants) and The My Way Residential.
A number of her stage works were adapted and filmed for SABC-TV television, including Mickey Kannis Caught my Eye and Spider. She also wrote TV dramas broadcast by SABC-TV, including Jimmicks, Harry's Kid (adapted from Jack Cope's short story); and The Touch of Pink. “In Broad Daylight”
Her work of SABC Radio, includes The Marketing Man, The Shrinking of Alby Chapman, and Impressarios and Knitting Machines, while some stage plays were also broadcast on radio. Among them were Joggers, broadcast by SABC Radio, and The Donahue Sisters, A Galway Girl and Bar and Ger, The Donahue Sisters and The Stanley Parkers, all also broadcast by BBC Radio.
She wrote the following screenplays:
The Donahue Sisters A thriller
Take a Chance'' A Romantic Comedy
Maestro (rewrite for Franco Zeffirelli)
The Last Voyage of The Star Dancer Space Fiction
Bar and Ger won numerous awards, including the RAPS Best Play; Transvaal Drama Festival, Best Play; The Eileen Harper Memorial Trophy. Internationally it was voted an Edinburgh Fringe First and Variety Magazine’s Edinburgh’s Best Ten, and won the Salter’s Cup UK, and the Kentucky State Thespian Award, et al.
Olive and Hilary won the Alex McGregor Trophy and the McMarten Cup
The Donahue Sisters won numerous awards, including the All-Ireland One-Act Play Festival; Best Play, Drama Festival of France; Best Play, New Zealand Drama Festival; Dick Lauder Trophy 2010; The MacLennan Prize 2010; the Mackenzie Shield 2010.
A Galway Girl was the winner All-Ireland One-Act Play Festival. BBC's choice for Prix Italia Awards Entry.
The Stanley Parkers was the winner US Interstate Play Festival; The Alex McGregor Trophy and the Wallace Bennett Cup 2010
Brian Astbury, 1979. The Space Die Ruimte Indawo
E-mail Correspondence from Geraldine Aron (Friday 2016/11/18 01:48 PM)
Mona de Beer 1995. Who Did What in South Africa. Johannesburg: Ad Donker.
Peter Joyce. 1999. A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography. Cape Town: Francolin Publishers.
Sydney Paul Gosher 1988. A historical and critical survey of the South African one-act play written in English. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Pretoria: University of South Africa.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to ESAT Personalities A
Return to South African Theatre Personalities
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page