Lydia Lindeque

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Lydia Lindeque, (1912 – 1997) was a legendary Afrikaans actress.

Lydia Lindeque was a stage name, also found as Alida Lindeque in an early version it seems.

Biography

Born Alida du Toit and raised in Bethlehem in the Orange Free State. A classically beautiful woman, she seemed to have smitten most men who worked with her, including Paul de Groot, André Huguenet and Siegfried Mynhardt.

Married poet and playwright Uys Krige in 1937, and had a daughter, Eulalia (1937) and son Taillefer (1944). By 1944 the marriage was in trouble. Later married John Mantel. She died in 1997 in Andorra.

Training

Discovered and trained by Paul de Groot (who fell in love with her when she was 16, and offered her the role of Nora in his version of A Doll House – but her mother objected.).

Career

Member of Paul de Groot Toneelgeselskap, later André Huguenet’s company, the NTO company and others.

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

She started her professionl career with Die Rosekrans (Barclay/Bisson) and later Besigheid is Besigheid (1931). For André Huguenet she performed in Gevaarlike Huwelik, Genoveva, Die Swart Hand, Ampie and Ek het 'n man vermoor.

In 1938 she played in Uys Krige’s debut play Magdalena Retief, directed by Krige himself. Mara (1941).

In 1940-41 she played in English for the first time – Viola in Gwen ffrangçon-Davies’s production of Twelfth Night. Follows this with Quality Street (1941), Mademoiselle (Deval, 1942) and Servant of God by Madeleine Masson (1943).

Performed in an Afrikaans translation of Ladies in Retirement with Berdine Grunewald for Siegfried Mynhardt’s company in 1942.

In 1945 she went to Cairo and Italy with the UDF Entertainment Unit to direct entertainment for the troops, including the plays Die Rooi Pruik, The Proposal, Mrs Warren's Profession and a number of concerts. Performed in Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession, directed by Leontine Sagan in 1947 by the REPS. Starred in The Witch (1951), the Greek comedy Lysistrata directed by Leon Gluckman in 1952, Hassan (1952), Yerma (in English, 1955).

She appeared on stage as Agrippina in the premiére of N.P. van Wyk Louw’s Germanicus (NTO, 1957).

Other productions include Mirandolina (1957), Medea (1955 and 1962). She co-starred with Leon Gluckman in Taubie Kushlick’s production of The Rope Dancers in 1958.

Also worked as a director with the Krugersdorp Municipal Dramatic and Operatic Society (KMDOS) during the war years.

Sources

Binge, 1969.

Tucker, 1997.

(Huguenet, 195*; Du Toit, 1988;) [TH, JH]


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