John Hussey (19**-1995). Actor and director, stage and screen.
John, who was born in London, came to South Africa in 1952. He died in September 1995 in Johannesburg.
He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London.
Already a well-established theatrical personality, he came to South Africa in 1952 and for the next five years was heavily involved in acting and directing. Returning to England in 1958 he worked extensively in all the entertainment media including a large selection of prestige plays for TV and film and 6 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1971 John returned to South Africa to play in productions of In the Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Much Ado about Nothing.
Associate Director and Drama Consultant for PACT (1973), PACT director of English Drama.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
Performed in The Merchant of Venice (as “Shylock” with NAPAC), The Gin Game (as “Weller Martin”), Twigs (CAPAB 1974), Present Laughter (as “Gary Essendine” with PACT, 1979; he also directed the play), A Midsummer Night's Dream (as “Bottom” with NAPAC in 1980), The School for Scandal (as “Sir Peter Teazle” with PACT in 1980) Royal Hunt of the Sun (with PACT), Jumpers (with the Durban Theatre Foundation).
Quoted from the programme of Two Into One 1986: ' A highly respected and versatile actor, his leading roles include Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Philip in Relatively Speaking, Sir Anthony Absolute in The Rivals, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, the title role in Julius Caesar, Beckett in Murder in the Cathedral, the title role in King Lear and the father in Billy Liar.
Productions include Relatively Speaking (with The Company 1978), Rebecca (with NAPAC Alhambra Theatre October 1978), Present Laughter (with PACT), Rookery Nook (with PACT), Child's Play PACT Drama in association with Pieter Toerien, Basil Rubin and Shirley Firth, 1971.
He directed Peter Shaffer’s double bill Black Comedy and The White Liars with Ruth Oppenheim and Eckard Rabe for PACT/TRUK at the Alexander Theatre in 1972 and You Can't Take It With You in 1972. His production of A Man and His Wife starring Stuart Brown was also staged at the Brooke in 1972 and at the Alhambra Theatre, Durban, from 10 April 1972. He directed and starred in Noël Coward’s Hay Fever together with Shelagh Holliday, and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida with Eckard Rabe, Annelisa Weiland, James White and Siegfried Mynhardt for PACT in 1974.
He directed Enemy! (PACT 1974). He also directed the PACT production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, choreographed by Geoffrey Sutherland and starring Richard Loring, Bruce Millar and Alvon Collison at the Alexander in 1974. He directed Thornton Wilder’s Our Town starring Diane Wilson, Danny Keogh and Michael McCabe for PACT at the Alexander in 1976. Together with Mannie Manim he co-directed The Company’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular, designed by Anthony Farmer and starring Diane Appleby, Graham Armitage, Naomi Buch, Wilson Dunster, Kerry Jordan and Gay Lambert at the Market Theatre in November 1977.
Directed Count Dracula (NAPAC, Alhambra Theatre Durban, 1977). He directed Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking starring himself, Helen Jessop, Andre Hattingh and John Rogers at The Market Theatre in 1978.
He directed Child Spell (John Boulter) at the Alhambra Theatre, Johannesburg, from 2 May 1981, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest starring Ralph Lawson, Andrew Buckland, Dorothy-Ann Gould, Gabrielle Lomberg and Shelagh Holliday for PACT in 1982. [also in Durban, McMurtry]
Directed The Taming of the Shrew, Maynardville, 1983. The Rivals, 1983, PACT. Michael Atkinson, John Hussey, James Borthwick, Wilson Dunster, Susan Gehr. As You Like It, (dir) Maynardville, 1984, Dorothy-Ann Gould, John Whitely.
TV roles include Gerald Dingley in The Dingleys, Duncan in Macbeth, the headmaster in Brent House and the inspector in 'Kiss the Girls Goodbye.
Film credits include the 1974 Roger Moore film, Gold.
Won Durban Critics Circle Award Best Actor 1979.
SACD 1979/80; 1980/81; 1981/82.
Two Into One programme notes, 1986.
Numerous entries in the NELM catalogue.
Obituary by Penny Charteris in the Sunday Times, 10 September 1995.
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