Ken Leach

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Ken Leach (19*-) Actor, director for stage and TV, artistic director.




Studied for a BA (philosophy and English) at the University of Cape Town.


Was the artistic director at the Arena Theatre (19**), and for the PACT English company for three years (19**- 19**).

He joined CAPAB as actor, then moved to PACT as director in 19**, becoming the Artistic Director of the English Company of PACT in 197*-* and in 1978 the first Resident Director of the Baxter Theatre. In this year he shifted from theatre to become a TV director for the SABC. In 1984 he was the principal officer of Capab Drama.

In 1993 he became a director, later head director, for Frans Marx’s TV soap Egoli. As actor worked for The Space Theatre (doing **), the Junction Avenue Theatre Company, CAPAB

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

As Actor

He starred in Don't Let the Summer Come (1968), Francois Swart’s production of King John in 1970.

He starred in Charles Marowitz’s A Macbeth which was staged at the Alexander in 1973.

As Director

He directed Shakespeare’s Richard III for PACT/TRUK at the Alexander Theatre in 1972. His production of The Duchess of Malfi with Leonie Hofmeyer and Bill Flynn was presented as the opening production of PACT’s Arena Theatre in 1975. He directed the PACT production of Miller’s Death of a Salesman in 1975, The Story of an African Farm at the Alexander for PACT in 1975, Feydeau’s A Flea in her Ear and Pieter Fourie’s Conspiracy, starring Patrick Mynhardt for PACT at the Alexander in 1976.

He directed Frank Wedekind’s The Lulu Plays for PACT at the Rosebank Arena in 1976. His production of the musical Fangs with Michael Richard, Paul Slabolepszy, Annelisa Weiland, Lesley Nott and Bill Flynn was staged by PACT in 1977.

Other productions include The Cherry Orchard (1978), Absurd Person Singular (Baxter 1978), The Fantastical History of a Useless Man (1978), The Tempest, Maynardville, 1982, Bedroom Farce (1982).

He directed Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue for PACT at the Alexander in 1983, Hamlet (1983), Falstaff (CAPAB, 1984), On the Razzle (CAPAB, 1984),

He directed Fangs, The Merchant of Venice(Sand Du Plessis Theatre, Aug. 1985), The Taming of the Shrew (Rhodes University production, 1986).

He directed Miscarriage of Murder (1986), The Business of Murder (1986), Tom and Viv for Pieter Toerien at the Alhambra in August 1986, Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit at the Alhambra in 1987.

Memorable productions were his TV versions of Shakespeare, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1982), Hamlet (198*) and The Merchant of Venice (198*).

Awards, etc

Won Best Director in 1975 for Death of a Salesman

Winner of a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award as best director (1979) for three productions in 1978.

Awarded the first Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Drama in 1984.


SACD 1974; 1975/76; 1977/78.

Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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