Lesley Barnard

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After finishing matric Lesley started acting in 1979 and went into her first production at PEMADS as the maid in Peter Pan. Since then she has held a long association with PEMADS both as an award winning actress and director and as a Committee member, serving as Chairman and in now the Hon Vice President position.

Contribution to South African Theatre


As a Director she has taken on many well received Comedies & Farce, Drama’s like Women in Black and A Few Good Men, and the heart- warming Calendar Girls.

She directed the highly acclaimed Macbeth in 2014 for the society, last years’ very well received Twelfth Night back in the newly re-vamped Mannville and played the lead in the Robin Williams newly formed Platform productions of Other Desert Cities She has been very lucky to learn so much from the Noel Morgan’s and Helen Mann’s of the world and worked with professional Directors like Keith Grenville, Themi Venturas and Robin Williams as well as dear friends like Helen Flax, Linda-Louise Swain and the late Lizinda Schrapler.


Some of her notable performances for Pemads include The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Bracknell, Noises Off – twice as Belinda Blair (10 years apart), An Ideal Husband – Lady Cheveley, Miss Hannigan in Annie, Ruth Condomine in Blythe Spirit and many more.

Has played both Viola and Olivia in 2 separate productions of Twelfth Night, Nerissa in the Merchant of Venice, Lady MacDuff in Macbeth, Rosalind in As you Like It and Queen Margaret in Richard III.

She is delighted to take on Prospera, changing the role from a man to a women as the latest film version of The Tempest did starring Helen Mirren in the role.

She is thrilled to work along alongside her daughter and her other theatrical brain Helen Flax.


Serves on the committee of the Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival.

PEMADS Director and Committee member, serving as Chairman and is now Hon Vice President.


At the annual Clover Showtime Theatre Awards in January, 2016, she collected the Show of the Year award and was also named Best Director for Twelfth Night.