Shelagh Holliday

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Shelagh Holliday (19**-). Entertainer and actress.


Born and educated in South Africa


Trained at the Royal Academy of Music for three years


This versatile actress has worked in musicals, farce and drama. First discovered by Adam Leslie (??), she also worked for Margaret Inglis and Robert Langford (Noël Coward’s Private Lives in 195*/6*), **, **. In 19** she joined the PACT company (??**) she went on to become one of the most popular and accomplished serious actresses in the country, a member of the English ensemble till it was closed down in 199*. Also worked for other companies, such as Leonard Schach,**

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

Performed in musicals, revue, comedy and drama. Performed in Ever Since Eve, I Spy, Platonic Nymph, Applause, Finger Trouble' ( the revue by Robert Kirby), Night Must Fall, King John, Hay Fever (with PACT), The Secretary Bird, Move Over Mrs. Markham, Mrs. Adams Will be Waiting, Charley’s Aunt (in 1973 with PACT), Hay Fever (with PACT) Two and Two Make Sex (with the Academy Theatre), Double Edge (for Toerien-Firth Company in 1976), London Assurance (in 1977 with PACT), Blithe Spirit (For PACT in 1977), Dear Daddy (in 1978 with Nigel Patrick), A Long Day's Journey into Night (in 1978 at the Market Theatre), Gladys in A Lesson from Aloes (in 1979 at the Market Theatre and in 1980 in London), Separate Tables (with NAPAC in 1978).

Among her most acclaimed roles were in The Dresser (Ronald Harwood, 1980), *** Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes (19**) She starred in Noël Coward’s Private Lives which Margaret Inglis and Robert Langford staged starring Robert himself circa 1963. She starred in Feydeau’s farce A Flea in her Ear at the Alexander Theatre in 1967. It was directed by Albert Ninio for the Reps and also starred Hal Orlandini, James White and Gordon Mulholland. She starred in The Secretary Bird which was staged by Shirley Firth, Toerien and Rubin at the Intimate Theatre in 1969. It was directed by Kerry Jordan and also starred Jeremy Hawk, Ivan Berold and Firth. She starred in Noël Coward’s Hay Fever with John Hussey who also directed this production for PACT in 1974. Together with Michael Atkinson and Michael McGovern she starred in Double Edge which Anthony Sharp directed for Toerien-Firth Company in 1976.

She starred in Dear Daddy, directed by and starring Nigel Patrick with Richard Haines at the André Huguenet Theatre in 1978. She starred in a revival of A Long Day's Journey into Night with Joe Stewardson, Danny Keogh and Ron Smerczak at The Market in 1978. She starred in Athol Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes, directed by and starring Fugard, together with Marius Weyers at The Market Theatre in November 1978. She won best actor at the DALRO Awards for her role in this play. She starred in a revival of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter for PACT in 1979. It was directed by John Hussey and also starred Hussey and Erica Rogers. She starred in A Lesson from Aloes together with Marius Weyers and Bill Curry at Upstairs at the Market in 1980. It was directed by Ross Devenish. She starred in Arthur Kopits’s Wings at the Market in 1981. She starred in The Glass Menagerie together with Lesley Nott which was directed by Lucille Gillwald at Upstairs at the Market in 1981. She starred in Pieter Toerien’s production of Agatha Christie’s Spider's Web together with Rex Garner, Paddy Canavan and Kenneth Baker at the André Huguenet Theatre in 1981.

She starred in Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser together with Michael McCabe, Michael Atkinson, Paddy Canavan, Lynne Maree and Simon Swindell under direction by Leonard Schach at the Baxter Theatre in November 1980 and the Market Theatre in 1982. Together with Lynne Maree and Eric Flynn she starred in Leonard Schach’s production of the staged version of Helene Hanff’s memoir, 84 Charing Cross Road at the Market in April 1982. She starred in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by John Hussey, together with Andrew Buckland, Dorothy-Ann Gould, Gabrielle Lomberg and Ralph Lawson for PACT in 1982. She starred in Pieter Toerien’s 1984 Agatha Christie, The Hollow which Kim Grant directed at the André Huguenet Theatre in February. Equus (1985). She starred in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya together with Frantz Dobrowsky, Michael McCabe, James Borthwick, Jacqui Singer and Charlotte Butler under Richard Haines’s direction in 1986. She starred in Agatha Christie’s Murder at the Vicarage for Pieter Toerien in 1986. The War at Home. She starred in James Kirkwood’s Legends at the André Huguenet Theatre in 1988. She played "Mamita" in Lerner and Loewe's Gigi at the Pretoria State Theatre in 1992. She starred in Hugh Whitemore’s The Best of Friends in 1993. **

Awards, etc

Won Best Actress Award in 1969 for The Secretary Bird, nominated for Best Actress in 1974 for Hay Fever and won a Durban Critics Circle Best Actress Award in 1978 for Separate Tables.


SACD 1973; 1974; 1977/78; 1978/79; 1979/80.

Tucker, 1997.

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