Stanley Nathan

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Stanley Nathan, (1911 - 1974) was a director and producer of musical variety shows. He was also an actor and an amateur filmmaker.


Stanley Nathan, more commonly known by his nickname, 'Solly', was born in Johannesburg on July 9, 1911, and died, aged 63, in Port Elizabeth on September 8, 1974. He started his working career in 1929 as a window dresser and interior decorator for OK Bazaars and Woolworths. He was also a talented painter, sculptor and wood carver. Although he was based in Johannesburg, he travelled around the country dressing shop windows. He met his future wife, Beryl Morris, in Port Elizabeth and they were married in 1936. He produced a show in Johannesburg called Cinema Jazz. Nathan arrived in Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg in 1940 where his family were all connected with the theatre and he soon established himself as an entertainer. Stanley Nathan was very versatile and was called upon by all sections of the community for advice and assistance in the entertainment industry.

Contribution to SA theatre and film

April 24 & 25, 1952: Nathan produced a musical variety concert presented by P E Bowlers, with Maurice D Berman, called On the Jack at the Port Elizabeth City Hall for the South African Bowling Tournament.

February 7, 1953: Ort-Oze Port Elizabeth, presented Holiday Time, a musical fiesta arranged and devised by Stanley Nathan at the City Hall, Port Elizabeth.

On Wednesday, November 21, 1956, he presented another musical variety concert, Bottoms Up, for the South African Nurses Trust Fund, at the Feather Market Hall, Port Elizabeth.

April 3 to 6, 1957: To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the South African Bowling Tournament, (1907 – 1957), Stanley Nathan presented the musical variety show, “Tickle the Kitty”, at the City Hall, Port Elizabeth.

In 1959 he collaborated with Myer Kaplan, a pharmacist from Uitenhage, and Norman Ntshinga, a local black actor, to produce the first all African musical in Port Elizabeth, Shanty Town Revue.

Ballyhoo was a charity fund-raiser variety cocktail show presented by Stanley Nathan at the Port Elizabeth City Hall, July 9 – 11, 19??, (circa 1960??) under the patronage of the Mayor and Mayoress and starred Hugh McCready (organ), Basil de Jong, Harry Viera, Don Barrigo, Denis Emons, Basil and Don, Gabriel Bayman, and Clarrie and Hazel Johnson.

Nathan was also a member of the Port Elizabeth Film Group and produced a film called The Tramps Holiday in which he played the lead role. The movie was directed by Buck Taylor.

Nathan assisted the Carter-Summerton Dance Studio with various shows.


Interview with Brenda Berger, Nathan's daughter - 2018.

Tickle the Kitty theatre programme. 1957.

Shanty Town Revue theatre programme, 1959.