Siegfried Mynhardt

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Siegfried Mynhardt (1912-1996) Venerated bilingual (Afrikaans and English) actor and director. (“Siegie”).


His children were Jill and Guy Mynhardt.




He began his career as actor for the Hanekom Geselskap (Company) at the age of 17. A sought after performer, he worked for most of the Afrikaans companies in the 1930s, including the André Huguenet Company (1933). Later founded his own company ** to do **. Went to England in 19*, where he worked for the Charles Hickman Company and performed at London's Old Vic. During the war years, he returned to South Africa to perform for the Krugersdorp Municipal Dramatic and Operatic Society (KMDOS) and the Gwen ffrangçon-Davies / Marda Vanne Company between 1941 and 1946.

Over the years he performed for the Cockpit Players, PACT and the NTO, acting in a huge number of roles and often under the direction of Leonard Schach, Leontine Sagan, and many more.

Actor who performed for the Gwen ffrangçon-Davies / Marda Vanne Company which presented seasons of plays during the war years at the Standard Theatre. Formed his own company in 1942.

He toured with the National Theatre throughout 1948 with a company including André Huguenet, Leon Gluckman, Frank Wise, Lorna Cowell, Vivienne Drummond, Mathilda Hanekom and Enone van den Bergh performing many productions.

He was kept in steady employment by PACT in 1966. (See PACT)

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

He started his career as actor in the play Onskuldig Veroordeel (Hendrik Hanekom 1929). Other early plays were Die Swart Hand (1933) and Johannes van Wyk (1933).

Performed Die Rooi Pruik and an Afrikaans translation of Ladies in Retirement with Berdine Grunewald and Lydia Lindeque. Was so popular, it was taken North to be performed for the South African troops in the war.

He performed in What Every Woman Knows (1943), Blithe Spirit (1944), Milestones (1944), Squadron X (SAAF 1944), Flare Path (1943-4), Laburnum Grove (1946), A Man With Red Hair (1946), A Month in the Country (1946), Lady Frederick (1947, presented by The Munro-Inglis Company, their last Standard Theatre production).

In 1947 he co-directed and performed in the Afrikaans Hamlet with Anna Neethling-Pohl, playing Laertes*? himself. It was staged at His Majesty's Theatre and starred André Huguenet as the Prince of Denmark, and Michal Grobbelaar as Marcellus. He appeared in productions of the National Theatre's inaugural season, including Altyd my Liefste (NTO 1947/8), Dear Brutus (NTO 1948), Nag het die Wind Gebring (1948/49) and An Inspector Calls (1948/49).

During the 1950s he had roles in Macbeth (in Afrikaans, 1950), Hassan (NTO 1950), Die Vrek (NTO 1951), Volpone (1952), (Volpone enjoyed another run at the Benoni Town Hall later that same year), Twelfth Night (1953), Someone Waiting (Reps 1954), Shakespeare's Hamlet, produced, directed and played in by Margaret Inglis at the Windmill Theatre in 1955, Periandros van Korinthe (NTO 1956), Bitter Einde (NTO 1956-7), Oupa Kanniedood (NTO 1957), Bohaai oor .n Otjie (NTO 1956), The School for Scandal (NTO 1958), Die Jakkalsstreke van Scapino, 1958, Voorlopige Vonnis (NTO 1958), he played Dauphin in Shaw's Saint Joan, which Leon Gluckman directed for the National Theatre in 1959, also starring Kita Redelinghuys and in Moeder Hanna (1959).

The 1960s saw him in The Caretaker (1960), Rookery Nook (Cockpit Players 1960), in the hit musical comedy Irma la Douce, staged by the Brian Brooke Company in 1960, in the Cockpit Players productions of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker and Paddy Chayefsky's prizewinning The Tenth Man at the Playhouse in 1961 with actors Michael McGovern and Nigel Hawthorne. He also appeared in Wie de drommel is Paskwaal? (NTO 1961), Beyond the Fringe (Cockpit Players, opening October 1961), Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, followed by Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana which was staged at the Playhouse by the Cockpit Players in 1962, Dear Liar (1962), The Affair (PACT 1963), The Cherry Orchard (PACT, 1963), The Playboy of the Western World (PACT 1963), Romeo and Jeanette (PACT 1963), The Miser for PACT in 1964, Ring Round the Moon (PACT 1964), A Sleep of Prisoners (PACT 1965), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (PACT 1965), Rashomon (PACT 1965), The Devils (PACT 1966), Faust (H.B. Thom Theatre 1966), The Beaux' Stratagem (PACT 1966), The Mask and the Face (PACT 1967), Mourning Becomes Electra (PACT 1967), [[The Imaginary Invalid]] (PACT 1967), Heartbreak House (PACT 1967), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (PACT 1968) You Never Can Tell (PACT 1968), The Fighting Cock (PACT 1968), Hadrian VII, directed by Robert Mohr for PACT at the Alexander Theatre in 1969, A Month in the Country, which Leonard Schach directed for PACT at the Alexander Theatre in 1969, The Magistrate (PACT 1969).

From 1970 onwards followed Ouers-Vra (KRUIK 1970), King John (PACT 1970), Child's Play (PACT 1971), Koning Lear (CAPAB 1971), Hotel Paradiso (1971), Gentlemen (1972), Do You Know the Milky Way? (PACT 1972), Black Comedy (PACT 1972), Skoene-skoene (PACT, 1973) Sagmoedige Neelsie (1973), Iemand Om voor Nag Te Sê (PACT 1973), Die Verhoor (PACT 1973), Charley's Aunt (PACT 1973), A Macbeth which was staged at the Alexander Theatre in 1973, Twigs (PACT 1974), Drie Susters (KRUIK 1976), Die Nag van Legio (CAPAB 1976), Plaston: DNS-Kind, 1981, Comrades (PACT 1986).

As director: He produced Mademoiselle in 1942, he directed Laura for the Reps in 1947, directed As ons twee eers getroud is (1952) and the famous Ben Travers farce, Rookery Nook at the Civic Theatre for PACT in December 1963.

Anthony Farmer designed an intimate dinner theatre in the place of the Siegfried Mynhardt Theatre (the old Academy) which was ravaged by fire circa 1984. The opening production was Oh! La! La! conceived and directed by Siegfried Mynhardt.

His film career is equally distinguished, and includes such Afrikaans hits as Die Vlindervanger (film), 1976, Die Skerpioen (film 1946), and Oupa Brompie (19**). Similarly he did a number of television dramas, including **

Awards, etc


Binge, 19**, Du Toit, 1988; [TH, JH]

Lantern, August 1991.

Tucker, 1997.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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