Peter Hayes

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Peter Hayes (1966-2013). Actor, producer, director and playwright.


Completed a BA, majoring in Drama and Cultural History of Western Europe, UCT, 1986; a BA Honours, Theatre Directing, UCT, 1990.

For a while he also ran his own Cape Town restaurant, Gorgeous, where he was head chef.

He died in Cape Town of a suspected heart attack on 13 December 2013.

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

Alongside the theatre work, he worked as a teacher of drama, both at high school and at the University of Cape Town where he taught a directing course for four years. He has also ,been an art director, travel writer, food stylist, chef, interior decorator, and an advocate for gay rights - inter alia serving as the creative director for the Mother City Queer Project, Chairperson, PANSA (Performing Arts Network of SA) 2007/8, and director of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) (Westwern Cape - 2009 – 2013).

In 1992, while still students, he and Jacqueline Dommisse founded the Hearts & Eyes Theatre Collective, becoming the artistic director. Their work was characterized by social commitment, energy and creative use of visual communication - including puppetry and physical theatre. With them Hayes did most of his most trenchant work.

His theatre work

As a writer/actor he made his mark in Get Hard, a play on homosexuality, which remains one of the most radical gay plays in South Africa. He performed the lead role in Martin Moran's The Tricky Part (winning the Fleur du Cap Award for Best Solo Perfomer in South Africa and the the Mecca Award for Best Visiting Production from the Montreal English Critics Circle) , and created and performed a solo performance piece called I Am Here, which premiered at the National Arts Festival at Arena, Grahamstown on 25 June 2010.

Producing credits include The Vagina Monologues (with Lara Bye); He Co-Directed South Africa’s first V-Day event for which author Eve Ensler came out to South Africa to perform.

As a director he has done Ncamisa! The Women,


NCAMISA! THE WOMEN By Peter Hayes, ANGELS ON HORSEBACK by The Company Woordfees 48 Uuur Fees – WINNER BEST COSTUME DESIGN 2008: ANGELS ON HORSEBACK Grahamstown Fringe; FALSE WITNESS by Paul Ian Johnson Die Hart se Smeltkroes (the Afrikaans version of The Alchemist's Heart); Woordfees; Decorex Launch 2007: Pansa’s 48 Hour Festival 2006: The Weir by Connor McPhereson 2004: W;t by Margeret Edson for The Baxter Theatre Centre 2003: V-DAY – The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, co-directed with Lara Bye for V-Day South Africa – Cape Town 2002: V-DAY – The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, co-directed with Lara Bye for V-Day South Africa – Jo’burg 1999: THE RETURN OF THE RHINO WOMAN by Megan Choritz, Grahamstown Fringe; TO HAVE/TO HOLD Grahamstown Fringe 1998: THE RETURN OF THE RHINO WOMAN Cape Town; THE STORIES I COULD TELL tours to Out of Africa, Germany; SADAKO Cape Town WHY?WHY?WHY? Cape Town 1997: WORLD OF WONDERS (with Zip Zap Circus) Cape Town 1996: SADAKO Grahamstown Fringe; SHIP TO SHORE Cape Town 1995: THE STORIES I COULD TELL tours to Artrage, Australia, plays Cape Town; SHIP TO SHORE Cape Town; JOURNEY (Journey 1995) Grahamstown Main Festival 1994: ONE MAN’S MEAT…IS A WOMAN’S POISON Cape Town + filmed as an Educational Film for UCT; PIRATE JENNI Grahamstown Fringe, Cape Town; SHIP TO SHORE Cape Town; VICTORIA WOOD LIKE IT, Cape Town 1993: EQUAL WRONGS Grahamstown Fringe, Cape Town; THE HOMOSEXUALS (OUT IN AFRICA) Johannesburg 1992: THE HOMOSEXUALS (OUT IN AFRICA) Grahamstown Fringe, Cape Town AS ACTOR 2008: THE TRICKY PART Montreal Fringe Festival, Ottawa Fringe, Toronto Fringe Festival, Winnipeg Fringe, Saskatoon Fringe, Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Musho Festival 2007: THE TRICKY PART, Grahamstown Fringe, Baxter Studio, Downstairs at Wits 2006: THE TRICKY PART, Grahamstown Fringe; THE ALCHEMIST’S HEART, Out The Box Festival, Cape Town 2004: THE FENCE tours Canada Fringe 2003: THE ALCHEMIST’S HEART Grahamstown Main Festival, Suid-Ooster Fees Cape Town (performed as Die Hart se Smeltkroes in Afrikaans); THE FENCE Cape Town and Johannesburg, 2002 Grahamstown Fringe 2000 - 1999: PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD, Cape Town and Johannesburg, Grahamstown Fringe, Gourmet Festival, Cape Town 1997:LOVE STORY Grahamstown Fringe 1995: GET HARD Grahamstown Fringe; 1994: GET HARD Grahamstown Fringe, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg I have done many guest spots for Television including MADAM AND EVE, GOING UP…AGAIN, STOKVEL, among others. AS WRITER: 2009: I AM HERE; NCAMISA! THE WOMEN; 2003: THE ALCHEMIST’S HEART based on a true legend; 2002: THE FENCE Grahamstown Fringe; 2001: WHY?WHY?WHY? with the company2000; 1999: TO HAVE/TO HOLD workshopped with the company; 1998: PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD, with the Company WHY?WHY?WHY? wokshopped with the Company; 1997: LOVE STORY; WORLD OF WONDERS with Lara Bye; 1996: SADAKO with the Company; 1995: THE STORIES I COULD TELL with Jay Pather; JOURNEY (Journey) with the Company; 1994: ONE MAN’S MEAT…IS A WOMAN’S POISON with the Company; SHIP TO SHORE; 1993: EQUAL WRONGS with Nicole Levin; OEDIPUS SEX with the Company; 1992: THE HOMOSEXUALS (OUT IN AFRICA) with the Company; 1990:20th CENTURY – MID YEAR with the Company


Laetitia Pople, Die Burger, 17 December, 2013, p16.

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