Helen Flax

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Helen Flax is a Port Elizabeth based businesswoman and amateur actor and director.

Biography

Born Helen Frangopoulos, daughter of restauranteurs Maria and George Frangopoulos. She completed her high school studies at Trinity High School, Port Elizabeth, (1982 – 1984) and then studied at the University of Cape Town (1986 – 1988), University of South Africa (1989 – 1991) and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (1992 – 1993).

After 14 years as a Manageress for her parents's business - The Ranch House of Steaks - she went on to work as a financial advisor for various companies, including Calreg (2014 – Mar 2018) and Welshfin (since 2018).

Early acting career

Her romance with theatre and Mannville, in particular, began in 1975 when, as a junior school pupil, she saw Helen Mann playing "Lady Macbeth".

Both as an actress, director and backstage crew member, she has been involved with theatre since 1980.

She started her career selling programmes in the front of house for the Port Elizabeth Shakespearian Festival at Mannville Open Air Theatre Her first acting role was in 1982 when she played a fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

When she played the part of "Lady Macbeth" in the 2014 production of Hamlet at The Little Theatre and she sadly believed that the glory days of Mannville Open Air Theatre were past. However, Rocky Mann’s hard work and stubborn determination were to prove her wrong.

Helen was directed by Helen Mann in the early 80’s and appeared on stage with her in Our Town in 1985.

Initially selling programmes front of house, she graduated to the stage and eventually played roles such as Desdemona, Juliet, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth.

At PEMADS, she got to play in farce like Don’t Dress for Dinner and thrillers like Deathtrap and A Few Good Men.

Helen performed with Noel Morgan and played for director-writer Barbara Woodhead.

She was influenced by directors such as Helen Wilkins, Themi Venturas, Linda-Louise Swain, Robin Williams, Colin Ward and Lizinda Schrapler. From Shakespeare to Pantomime and Farce, she loves it all.

Contribution to South African Theatre

As Director

2001: Directed William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

2002: Directed William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

2004: Directed An Ideal Husband for PEMADS (Port Elizabeth Musical and Dramatic Society).

2005: Directed William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Dream.

2006: Charley’s Aunt for PEMADS and Aladdin

2007: Directed William Shakespeare's As You Like It.

As Actor

1982: Portrayed a fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

2010: Blithe Spirit (Coward)

2012: Portrayed Cleopatra in William Shakespeare's play, Anthony and Cleopatra at the Port Elizabeth Opera House.

2014: Portrayed the role of Lady Macbeth in the 2014 production of Hamlet at The Port Elizabeth Little Theatre.

2015; Portrayed Maria, in Lesley Barnard's production of Twelfth Night, which formed part of the re-opening of the Mannville Open Air Theatre.

Awards

Helen was awarded the title Best supporting actress (play) in 2015 for her role as Maria in (award name? year?).

Sources

https://ivormarkman0.wixsite.com/mannville

https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-flax-066660a5/?trk=public_profile_browsemap_mini-profile_title&originalSubdomain=za

https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-flax-52411a4b/?originalSubdomain=za