Laurie van der Merwe

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Laurie van der Merwe (19**-1975) was an actor, director, translator and theatre manager.


Born L.G. van der Merwe in ** on **.

He died in in Newlands, Cape Town in September 1975.



Trained and practiced as a teacher at **,


He became a member of Ons Teatertjie Toneelgroep and Volksteater in Pretoria. Later became the manager of the Western Cape regional branch of NTO. Appointed drama organiser for CAPAB from 1 June 1963 until his resignation in 1967, after which he joined PACT.

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

Laurie first appeared in Die Peswolk and In die Wagkamer (J.F.W. Grosskopf, 1936), doing 8 plays for Volksteater between 1936 and 1942.** In 1949 he toured with the Afrikaans Company of the National Theatre for their performances of Die Indringer and Minnaar onder die Wapen, appearing in the latter. He joined the National Theatre Organisation (NTO) bilingual company for Candida and Oupa Brompie in 1950. In 1958 he moved to Bellville to start and lead a highly regarded Library Theatre Project in the region.

Other roles were in Venus Observed (1951), Romeo en Jeannette (Jean Anouilh) 1960, Eurydice, Cockpit, The Lady's not for Burning (1950), Antigone (by Sophocles) (as Kreon, 1961), Die Dame met die Kamelias (1966), Ampie (1970), Nag van Legio (1970), Maria Stuart.

He directed Dear Liar in 1962 and its Afrikaans translation entitled Liefste Leuenaar in 1963. Also directed Becket (1963), Lysistrata (1967), Die Ryk Weduwee (1968).

His translations into Afrikaans entitled Die Bruidskool, Mag ek Saamspeel?, Kringloop van die Liefde were from the original French and Die Sirkusavontuur from English.

Awards, etc


Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

The Rand Daily Mail, 9 May 1949; 19 November 1970.

Sources of the various productions.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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