Hilton Swemmer

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Hilton Swemmer. (19**-). Playwright, poet.



He matriculated at the Pretoria Boys' High School in the 1960s where he was taught art by South African artist Walter Battiss [1]. He started conceiving plays as a child in the Sunnyside, Pretoria, block of flats he grew up in. He persuaded his friends, all the children from the block, to act in his plays; he directed and their parents were the audience.


He studied at the Johannesburg College of Education.


He taught at Orange Grove Primary in Johannesburg. He continued to explore drama, twice winning awards at JCE for best director and acting in plays of the calibre of Chris Barnard's Pa, Maak vir my 'n Vlieër, Pa.

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

Swemmer's plays have been professionally performed at the Windybrow since 1993. Many have gastronomical themes. Several of his plays have been published by DALRO.

Titles include Eternal Palace, Puzzle of a Pop Star, Jiwawa, Bright Sun, Bright Moon : a play in one act, The Liberation of Mister Votipka, Before the Change…, Factory Animals, Sow Story, Yellow Daffodils, Chief in a Tuxedo, The Extras and Chiefs.

Awards, etc

Food for Thought [joint winner: most promising production]; Vita Pick of the Windybrow joint winner, award year 1996.


Interview with Rodney Victor published in The Star, 12 February 1998.

NELM catalogue.

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