John Whiteley

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John Whiteley (19**-) Actor and director



John was born in Johannesburg.


Trained at Rhodes University and the Central School of Drama, London.


He worked in repertory and television in Britain before returning to Johannesburg to join the Brian Brooke Company for which he played a large range of roles starring with, among others, Brian Brooke and Heather Lloyd-Jones. He was kept in steady employment by PACT in 1966. Since 1973 he has worked often for CAPAB.

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

He starred in the hit musical comedy Irma la Douce in 1960.

Performed in

The Private Ear (NAPAC 1964), Dear Antoine, 1971, The Mandrake, 1973, The Brass Hat, Hedda Gabler, The Game of Kings 1974, Rookery Nook, 1975, The Story of an African Farm, 1975, Richard III (as “Buckingham”, 1976,), Blithe Spirit (as “Charles”), Much Ado about Nothing (as “Don Pedro”), The Misanthrope (as “Philinte”), Arms and the Man (as “Sergius”), Hamlet (as “Fortinbras”), Twelfth Night (as “Orsino”), Private Lives (as “Elyot”), Roulette (as Illyitch), Misalliance (as “Lord Summerhays” with PACT), There's a Girl in My Soup, The Price (as “Walter”, with the Company of Four at the Baxter, Twelfth Night at Maynardville in 1978), The Merchant of Venice (as “Bassanio” with CAPAB), Antigone (as “Messenger” at Oude Libertas), Yerma (as “Juan” with PACOFS) You Never Can Tell (as “Valentine” with CAPAB), The Importance of Being Earnest (as “ Earnest” with NAPAC), The Prince of Verona, Shakespeare's R&J (with CAPAB), The Dream (with NAPAC), Market Theatre production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead 1978 for The Company. Hell is for Whites Only (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1982) ; As You Like It, Maynardville, 1984, Sandor Turai in Rough Crossing, 1987-88.


YINGTONG - LEAD – Alan Swerdlow,

Twelfth Night - SIR TOBY BELCH – Ralph Lawson,

Alarms and Excursions - LEAD – Baxter Theatre,

Amy's View - LEAD – Pieter Toerien,

Pygmalion - PROF. HIGGINS – Pacofs, Blithe Spirit - LEAD CAPAB,

Private Lives - LEAD – CAPAB,

Julius Caesar - MARK ANTHONY – Maynardville,

Romeo and Juliet - FRIAR LAURENCE – NAPAC,

Macbeth - DUNCAN – NAPAC,

A Midsummer Night's Dream - OBERON/THESEUS – Phillip Grout, Much ado about Nothing - DON PEDRO – Maynardville,

M. Butterfly - SUPPORTING ROLE – Robert Whitehead,

Single Spies - LEAD – John Whiteley,

Hysteria - LEAD – Roy Sergeant,

Indiscretions - LEAD – Civic Theatre,

Key for Two - LEAD – Slim Ramsdon,

Othello - SUPPORTING ROLE – Janet Suzman,

Sisters Rosensweig - SUPPORTING ROLE – Alan Swerdlow,

School for Wives - LEAD – Edmond Tamis,

The Misanthrope - LEAD – CAPAB,

The Importance of Being Earnest - LEAD – NAPAC.

MUSICALS (NON-SINGING PARTS) Lost in the Stars - LEAD – Mark Graham, Porgy and Bess - SUPPORTING ROLES – Angelo Gobbato, Fiddler on the Roof - SUPPORTING ROLES David Metheson, Annie Get your Gun - LEAD – CAPAB.

DIRECTION includes Dear Love (Toerien), Single Spies (Toerien), Sarcophagus (Toerien). He directed Jerome Kilty’s Dear Love at the Andre Huguenet in 1988.

FILM work: CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY - SUPPORT - DARRYL ROODT 1995 ; THAT ENGLISHWOMAN - SUPPORT - DIRK DE VILLIERS 1989 ; IN HARMS WAY - LEAD - GRAY HOFMEYER; RICHARD GUSH OF SALEM - LEAD - CAVALIER FILMS, THE JACKALS - LEAD - 20TH CENTURY FOX 1967; ESCAPE ROUTE CAPE TOWN - LEAD - 20TH CENTURY FOX 1967. The Cape Town Affair (1967) The Stick (1987) Othello (1989) Witness to Kill (2001) Duma (2005) Magic Journey to Africa (2010)


Quoted from the programme of Snake Beneath the Rose performed in 1986:, John has for the past 8 years (since circa 1978) appeared in a wide variety of roles in Cape Town where he was Other notable performances in the Cape have been in Blithe Spirit and Private Lies.

Natal audiences saw him in NAPAC's productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and A Midsummer Night's Dream and his most recent stage performance was in Pack of Lies at the Market Theatre and Baxter Theatres.

For Pieter Toerien Productions John was in Key for Two with Rex Garner, Moira Lister and [[Gordon Mulholland, The Runner Stumbles, and Murder at the Vicarage.

TV productions include 1922 and Mirror Image.

Awards, etc

Won a Three Leaf Arts Award for Best Leading Actor 1976.

Nominated for the Best Actor of the Year awards for his performances as The Lover in Strindberg Without Tears, as Philante in The Misanthrope, as Horace in The School for Wives (all for CAPAB) and as Walter in The Company of Four production of The Price.

He won the Three Leaf Arts Award for Best Leading Actor for his Mark Anthony in Julius Ceasar at Maynardville.

Vita Award (KWAZULU NATAL), 1996, Best Supporting Actor for his role as Abraham Yahuda in Hysteria.


Burger, 4 January 1978.

SACD 1973; 1977/78; 1978/79; 1979/80; 1980/81.

Programme of Snake Beneath the Rose performed in 1986.

Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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