Gillian Lomberg (b. Pretoria, 21/10/1942 – d. Perth, Australia, 04/04/2011) was a stage and radio actress, as well as a radio producer.
Gillian Claire Margaret Lomberg was the first of three children of actress Valda Adams and her husband, career diplomat Malcolm Lomberg. Because of her father’s work, she received her schooling in The Netherlands, France and Great Britain, but obtained an honours degree in drama at the University of Natal in Durban. Here she also devised a theatre programme specifically for children within the Department of Speech and Drama. After graduating, she was “introduced” to the theatre-going public in Taubie Kushlick’s production of The Lion in Winter (1968), with Joe Stewardson and Marika Mann (Marijke Haakman) in the leading roles. Though she continued to act on stage in a number of prestigious productions, radio became her forte and she appeared in countless plays and serials. Amongst these one of the most popular was the ongoing (1971-1975) Friends and Neighbours, presented from the Springbok Radio studio in Durban and, from 1978, the daily morning series The Romantic World of Barbara Cartland, produced by Barry Meehan’s radio production house Sound Ideas.
She had married Patrick Berry on 1st February 1969 and in 1980 the couple settled in Perth, where he continued his work as a marine biologist and became head of the WA Museum natural science division. She continued to act on the stage in venues such as the Playhouse and the Hole in the Wall Theatre as Gillian Berry. In 1982 she became writer, director and producer at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s WA Education Unit. She worked both in television and radio and in 1992 switched to radio drama at ABC Radio National, where she produced innumerable programmes. She became ill in 2004 and in 2007 her illness was finally identified as motor neurone disease. After a year on sick-leave from the ABC, she retired in 2008 and finally succumbed to MND in 2011. She left her husband and the couple’s two sons. Her younger sister, Gaby Lomberg, was also a successful actress.
South African Theatre Credits
1968 – The Lion in Winter (Alexander Theatre) (Produced by Taubie Kushlick for PACT), 1968 – You Never Can Tell (Alexander Theatre) (Produced by Taubie Kushlick for PACT), 1968 – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Alexander Theatre) (Produced by Leonard Schach for PACT), 1968 – The Fighting Cock (Alexander Theatre) (Directed by Kerry Jordan for PACT), 1969 – She Stoops to Conquer (St John’s Theatre, Durban) (Produced by Roy Sargeant for NAPAC), 1977 – Count Dracula (Directed by John Hussey for NAPAC), 1978 – Twelfth Night (Alhambra Theatre, Durban) (Produced Philip Grout for NAPAC), 1979 – The Merchant of Venice (Maynardville, Cape Town) (Produced by Michael Atkinson for CAPAB). She also took the role of Mrs. Patrick Campbell in Jerome Kilty’s Dear Liar, for which she was nominated for the Durban Critics Best Actress Award, but as yet we haven’t been able to establish just where and when.
SACD 1977/78; 1978/79; 1979/80.
PACT theatre programmes.
Teater SA, 1(4), 1969.
Correspondence with Patrick Berry and Simon Lomberg
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