Janice Honeyman

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Janice Honeyman (1949- ) [1]. Dynamic actress, highly respected director and author, particularly of children’s plays and pantomimes, arts administrator.



Born and educated in Cape Town, Janice graduated with a BA and Performer's Diploma in Speech and Drama from the University of Cape Town.


She joined the The Space Theatre and worked for CAPAB’s youth group with Robin Malan. She later became head of the Youth Group at PACT, before becoming a freelance actress and director.

Also worked on Theatre-In-Education programs for PACT.

One of the founding members of The Company she went on to work at, and eventually become a deputy director of, the Market Theatre. In 1993 she was appointed Deputy Executive Director of the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, later becoming Executive Director.

In 2001 she resigned to move back to Cape Town to work on a freelance basis.

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

She devised a pop-musical called Holy Moses and all that Jazz at The Market in 1979.

As actress

Major acting roles include “Hester” in The Company’s version of Hello and Goodbye in the seventies and playing “Gertrude Stein” in the Market's production of Gertrude Stein and a Companion.

She also performed in Kinkels innie Kabel, Babbelkous en Bruidegom, Lovers, Richard III, Hotel Paradiso, Investigations into the Death of a Greek, Muzeeka, Home Fires, Woyzeck, Zoo Zoo Widdershins Zoo, Tartuffe, Story Theatre, Luv (at the Market Theatre), Hello and Goodbye (at the Market Theatre), Don Juan (at the Market Theatre).

She starred in Leonard Schach’s production of the Paul Zindel play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds, for PACT in 1971, Aubrey Berg’s Story Theatre for PACT in 1974, the Academy-Company production of Murray Schisgal’s Broadway comedy Luv, directed by Barney Simon in 1977, Brickhill-Burke’s production of Mame at the Civic Theatre in November 1982, Barney Simon’s production of Marsha Norman’s 'night, Mother in September 1983.

playing Peppermint Patty in Snoopy in Bloemfontein,

Other musicals include Oh, What a Lovely War and The Fantasticks.

performed in Lysistrata (The Company’s first production).

Sheldon: Her production of An Arabian Night, adapted from Sir Richard Burton’s translation of The Arabian Nights was staged at Upstairs at the Market and the Main Hall in 1980.

As director

Among the productions Janice directed in her career were Twelfth Night, Star Bright, Wam!, Madame De Sade, Hardy Folk (with the Young Market),Holy Moses and All That Jazz (at the Market Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (at the Market Theatre),An Arabian Night (at the Market Theatre 1980),

Together with Barney Simon she directed Marico Moonshine and Mampoer, inspired by certain Herman Charles Bosman stories, at the Market in 1981.

She went on to direct the Market Theatre productions of Ain’t We Got Fun (1981), Romeo and Juliet with Robert Whitehead and Vanessa Cooke (1982), And Green And Golden, based on the childhood memories of Dylan Thomas, (1982/83). She directed Danny Keogh and Vanessa Cooke in a play they had written called This is for Keeps at the Laager in May 1983 before playing at Upstairs in August.

Her production, Forbidden Fruits, starring Vanessa Cooke, Jeremy Crutchley, Mike Huff, Danny Keogh, Amanda Strydom and Annelisa Weiland was staged at Upstairs at the Market in 1983/84.

She directed an adaptation of Fielding’s Tom Jones at the Arena in February 1983

Snoopy!!! – Schulz, Pierre Knoesen , Janice; dir: William Egan, musical dir: Noel Stockton; Sand Du Plessis Theatre, 1985, Pieter Toerien's Isn't It Romantic in 1985.

She then re-joined PACT, directing Twelfth Night and was appointed Assistant Artistic Director to PACT's Playwork, directing schools' programmes and children's theatre. Later productions for The Company include Arabian Night, The Crucible, The Merchant of Venice, She then co-scripted and directed This is for Keeps and directed Torch Song Trilogy.

She directed William M. Hoffman’s As Is in 1986.

Wrote and directed the Company's first children's production May Day Adventure Play

Snake Beneath the Rose in 1986:

Comedy of Errors for PACT, This is Janice's second engagement with Pieter Toerien of Isn't It Romantic.'

She directed the opening production for the Warehouse called Black and White Follies in 1987.

She wrote and directed PACT’s first pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Alexander Theatre in 1987. She wrote and directed Amabali – It’s Storytime which was staged at the Market in 1988. She wrote and directed PACT’s pantomime Aladdin in 1988.

She directed Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy in 1989. She adapted and directed Charles Dickens’s Hard Times for PACT at the Windybrow in 1989. She directed Leonard Bernstein’s Candide as part of The Trilogy in 1989. She directed PACT’s annual pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk in 1989.

She directed Pieter-Dirk Uys in A Kiss on Your Koeksister at the Warehouse in 1990. PACT’s annual pantomime was her The Sleeping Beauty at the Alexander Theatre in 1990. She directed A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters which was staged at the Richard Haines Theatre in September 1991. She directed William Nicholson’s Shadowlands at the Market Theatre in 1991. Her production of Sinbad's African Adventures was staged at the Civic Theatre in 1992. Her pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk was staged at the Market in 1993. Her production of Hair was staged at the Civic Theatre in 1994, opening a day after Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as President of South Africa.

As director works include Hennie Aucamp's ground-breaking Afrikaans cabaret Met Permissie Gesê (198*), Hard Times (***, 19*), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (19*), Rootz (***, 19*), Kramer and Petersen's Poison (1992), Madiba Magic (***, 200*) **, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2001), **'s Vatmaar (Baxter Theatre, 2002), John Kani's Nothing But The Truth (Baxter Theatre, 2002) for which she received a Naledi award for Best Director, Cinderella (***, 200*), Die Fledermaus (ArtsCape, 200*), **, Oom Vanya/Uncle Vanya]] (Baxter, 2004 )***, Twaalfde Nag ("Twelfth Night" in Afrikaans) (Oude Libertas Theatre Stellenbosch, 2005), Athol Fugard’s Exits and Entrances (Baxter Theatre, 2005), Begeerte (Eugene O'Neill’s Desire under the Elms, Baxter Theatre and KKNK 2006), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Baxter Theatre, 2007), . In 200* she directed Hello and Goodbye with Antony Sher and Estelle Kohler and Julius Hay's Have in London. In 2004 she directed the Celebrate South Africa Festival in the Royal Festival Hall, London.

Janice has directed Athol Fugard's Hello and Goodbye with Antony Sher and Estelle Kohler for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Madiba Magic at the Baxter Theatre Centre. She also directed Freedom Too, a Gala Concert at the Royal Festival Hall, as part of the Celebrate South Africa Festival In 2005 she directed Twaalfde Nag and Exits and Entrances. Janice had a very busy 2006 – she directed the world premiere of Athol Fugard's latest play, Booitjie and the Oubaas, which was praised by audiences and media alike, as well as the Baxter PlayGround performed reading of Shirley, Goodness and Mercy. More recent work includes Aladdin (PACT, 1988), Starbrite (Artscape 2006-7) and Cantata. She also directed Vatmaar, Nothing but the Truth and Begeerte.

As playwright

As a playwright she is particularly renowned for her children's work and her pantomimes, in which she developed an own style that combined entertainment, educational material and social issues in one event, an approach already introduced in her first play Cape Parade Adventure (19*) and continued in WAM (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), The Adventures of a Merry Madcap (Market Theatre, 1976),

The Company put on children’s matinees of her May Day Adventure at the Arena in 1974.

Co-author of This is for Keeps (with Vanessa Cooke and Danny Keogh -1983).

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy (Baxter Theatre, 2007.

Other play texts credited to Honeyman:

Waterfront (draft?)


For SABC TV she was the popular presenter of Bangalory Time and Hobbies, appeared in The Diggers, Die Lewe is... (a four part Afrikaans cabaret series) and was the director of In Broad Daylight.

Awards, etc

Janet is the winner of numerous awards, including the Five Roses Young Artists Award, the Breytenbach Epathlon, a number of Vita Awards and Fleur du Cap Awards, and the Johnnie Walker Achiever Award.

She won the National Vita Award for best director for Shadowlands.

Nominee 1991 Honeyman, Janice (Breytenbach Epathlon for best director);

In 2002 she was nominated for the Best Director Award in the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards and won an FNB Vita Award in the same category for The Beauty Queen of Leenane. A year later, she won the Fleur du Cap award for Best Director for Nothing but the Truth and Vatmaar.

Janice was awarded the 2005 Fleur du Cap Award for Best Director for Oom Wanja/Uncle Vanya.

Mame for which she won the Gallo Award for Best Performance in a Musical. She has also been awarded the Ernest Oppenheimer Award for her work during her appointment as Resident Director at The Market Theatre, the Five Roses Award and the SA Young Artists Award.


Programme of Pieter Toerien's Isn't It Romantic in 1985.

Programme of Pieter Toerien's Snake Beneath the Rose in 1986.

SACD 1973; 1974; 1977/78; 1979/80; 1980/81.

Astbury 1979.

Pat Schwartz 1988.

Tucker, 1997.

Beeld Plus, 1 March 2001.

Die Beeld, 30 May 2007.

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