James MacNamara

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James MacNamara (19**- ) is a leading South African scenic designer.


He was born in Pretoria and matriculated from Pretoria Boys High.



His interest in the arts led him graduating with distinction from the Pretoria Technikon with a National Diploma in Fine Arts and Design.


In 1981 he joined CAPAB as a décor painter. The following two years were spent completing his national service. While in the SADF, he worked in television services. He joined PACT in 1984 as a stage manager but was also involved with design and the drawing of set plans and was subsequently appointed as resident designer.

James is a leading South African scenic designer who has also done designs for big-scale productions in Europe and the USA. His designs span well beyond the theatre. In 2010 he designed the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup in Johannesburg, and has also been commissioned as principal designer on corporate launches for MillerCoors, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Cartier, Virgin Atlantic Airways,and BMW.

James MacNamara is also a guest lecturer at the Tswane University, the Open Window Art Academy, Boston House College, and for the South African School of Film, Television and Dramatic Art, and serves on the Advisory Panel of Entertainment Technology at Tswane University.

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

His early work as designer include Ek, Anna van Wyk and Die Koning Sterf.

Some of his most favoured production designs include Pantagleize, Romeo and Juliet, Die Sakeman van Venesië, Much Ado about Nothing, Cymbeline, Koning Ubu, Strider, God's Country, Hard Times and As die Kat Weg Is.

The Substance of Fire, (PACT 1993).

Awards, etc

In 1992 he received the Hanekom Bursary for outstanding contribution to theatre and in the same year his design for Romeo and Juliet won a Vita Award as Best Design, while Return to the Forbidden Planet was awarded a regional Vita Award in 1998.


Santa Fe Opera notice 2014 [1]

The Substance of Fire programme notes, 1993.

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