Peter Terry

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Peter Terry (1950-) is an actor, dramatist, poet, voice artist and theatre administrator.


Born on 22 November 1950, he grew up in Grahamstown, going to school at St Andrew's Preparatory School and St Andrew's College there, completing his matriculation in 1967. He then studied at Rhodes University, completing a B.A. in English and Speech and Drama in 1971. In 1980 he also completed a B.A. (Honours) degree in the Theory of Drama at the University of Pretoria.

He was married to theatre-maker, drama teacher and researcher Paddy Terry for a number of years.

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

He began his professional career in 1972, initially working as a freelance actor for the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) and the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT). He also served as an assistant stage manager on occasion. In 1973 he was contracted to PACT Drama, going on to perform in a wide variety of English and Afrikaans plays for them over the years, and later moving into management as well.

Role as administrator

In 1978 he also began working as an administrator for PACT, first as assistant director of the their Theatre-in-Education company (1978-1980) and PACT Drama's Literary Adviser. (1980-1983). In this capacity and thereafter, he researched, compiled and edited programmes for virtually all of PACT Drama's productions in the period 1981-1988. From 1989-1994 he held the post of Assistant Artistic Director of PACT Drama, a post which involved collaboration in all planning and artistic policy-making as well as the responsibility for various artistic and technical aspects of the work, and undertaking annual audition tours countrywide and on three occasions undertook overseas visits on behalf of the council (in 1989, 1992 and 1994).

He next became the Administrative Head of PACT Drama (1994-1996) and between 1997-2000 Artistic and Administrative head of Drama company what was now known as the State Theatre.

His acting career

As a fulltime member of PACT Drama's company of actors he appeared in many plays in both English and Afrikaans over the years, including **.

As actor he appeared in the PACT production of The State Theatre Overflow Show together with James White, Pamela Gien and Michael McCabe with direction by Nigel Vermaas at the Arena Bistro in 1981.

He had roles in Alive and Kicking, Daar Leef Mense Daar, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Lady from Dubuque, Die Emigrante, Wild Honey, Tom Jones. The Princess of Kurumbu, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Die Opstand van die Narre, The Comedy of Errors, Animal Farm, Translations, The Playboy of the Western World (1971), Richard Gush of Salem, Echoes of Anger, Pantagleize, The Exception and the Rule, The Crucible, Dream of the Dog (2007).

Role as director

Terry directed the pantomime Sneeuwitjie En Die Sewe Dwergies, which subsequently transferred to the Wild Coast Sun, in English, in 1993. He also directed a Theatre-in-Education programme for High Schools, for PACT Drama in 1996 and was awarded a gold watch for 20 years' unbroken service to PACT at the end of 1992.

As director he did Romeo and Juliet (PACT Playwork, 197*),

His role as playwright

He was written a number of stage plays including Teer-en-veer: The Lamont Case, a documentary play produced by PACT Drama in 1974; Rapid Eye Movements (PACT Drama, 1987; the UCT Drama School, 1989 and the Wits University Drama School in 1990; Danny and the Desert Girl, a play for children about cross-cultural understanding (PACT Drama, 1987); Evadne, White Princess of The Kurumbu, a satirical play about the rise of colonial racism (PACT Drama, 1992) and Next of Kin (completed in August 1994).

He adapted The Great Gatsby for the stage and co-wrote the children's play Gedoentes op/Goings on at Dingamalerie-Donga-Dell. He adapted The Great Gatsby for the stage and co-wrote the children's play Gedoentes op/Goings on at Dingamalerie-Donga-Dell.

Voice work

He has been very active as a voice artist, doing hundreds of radio and television commercials, documentaries, magazine programmes and corporate videos.

For example he narrated the documentary film Lions of the Kalahari, which was accepted for exhibition at the 12th International Festival of the Ornithologique Film of Menigoute in France, and the 100th Anniversary Video for the Kruger Park, which won a gold medal at a Documentary Video Festival in the USA.

He also recorded two 13-part wildlife documentary series for Discovery and National Geographic.

His radio work included a stint as broadcaster for Classic FM.

Television and film work

He has appeared in a large number of feature films, television dramas, television commercials, corporate videos and radio plays, for example becoming nationally known as the neighbour "Nige" in the series of television adverts for CTM tiles, which aired from ten years (1996-2006).

Television acting includes roles in Generations, Project Fame, Scandal!, Justice for All, Erfsondes, Isidingo, The Bill, One Foot in the Grave, The Devil's Whore, Wild at Heart, Egoli, Home Affairs, Laugh Out Loud, Rockville, After 9 and The Wild, among others.

Feature films include The Evil Below, Project Shadowchaser II, The Challenger Disaster and Shotgun Garfunkel.

Awards, etc

He was nominated for a Vita Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role of "Don" in Athol Fugard's Daar Leef Mense Daar (1985) and was awarded the Hanekom Bursary for outstanding service to PACT Drama in 1988.


Wild Honey programme notes, 1986.

Tucker, 1997.

Beeld Plus, 26 July 2007.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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