John Slemon

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John Slemon (19*-2021). Theatre manager.


He was born in Ireland and was attached to the Abbey Theatre, in Dublin. In 1976 he emigrated to South Africa, to become the founding manager of the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in 1977.

His wife died in 2009 and he himself passed away on 24 July, 2021. They had four children.




Before coming to South Africa, he was the manager of the Abbey Theatre.

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

In 1977 he was brought out to South Africa to start up and manage the new Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, which he did with enormous success.

He wrote the playscript Luthuli.

In 1985 he staged (with Bobby Heaney) a controversial production of Miss Julie at the Baxter Theatre and the Market Theatre.

Retired in 1995, to be replaced by Rodney Philips.

He directed Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You in 1983.

Awards, etc

In 1987 he received the Fleur du Cap Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the industry.

He was the winner of the Moyra Fine award for lifetime contribution to theatrical life in South Africa in 1996.


Die Burger 30 July 2021,"Kuns en Vermaak", p.10.[1]

Tucker, 1997. 349, 386, 425, 441.

Cape Times 28 Aug 2007.

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