Vera Clare

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Vera Clare. (19**-2011) Actress.

Also known as Vera Goodenough


She joined the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich in the late 40s and enjoyed a highly successful career there. Her wide repertoire included Saint Joan, "Raina" in Arms and the Man as well as Lysistrata, Medea, "Amanda" in Private Lives and "Helena" in Look Back in Anger.

She moved to South Africa with her then husband, Max Goodenough, and their three children, in 1967, settling in Cape Town. They moved to Pietermaritzburg three years later.

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

When she came to South Africa in 1967 she auditioned for CAPAB and got the leading role in Candida, making her South African debut in 1968.

However, family responsibilities kept her off the stage for a while, also when they moved to Pietermaritzburg three years later.

Then, in the 1970s, she became active again, working with directors such as Murray McGibbon, Garth Anderson, David Robinson, and others. Acted and directed in comedy and drama at the Cygnet Theatre and Winston Churchill Theatres. Did liaison work for schools' theatre. In the 80s played Olive Schreiner in The Story of an African Farm and in Still Life (Noël Coward) (Garth Anderson). Also performed in Murray McGibbon's Equus as the Magistrate.

Appeared in the film The Steam Pig.

Loft Theatre Company production of Blonde Sisters: Mothering the Master Race – banned (Garth Anderson) in the 80s.

In July 2000 in a monologue from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, A Lady of Letters directed by Peter Mitchell at the Hexagon Theatre.

Lady Bracknell in KickstArt’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest at Square Space Theatre, University of Natal, Durban campus.

A Savage from the Colonies with Stacey Taylor, had Pietermaritzburg, Grahamstown and Durban seasons (circa 2001).

Also a regular performer for KickstArt

Awards, etc

Durban Theatre Awards Best Supporting Actress Steel Magnolias 2002-2003;

She won a Vita Award (KZN) Best lead actress: Keely & Du; Best performance in comedy by female: The Importance of Being Earnest.


Kwana 8 Nov 2001 and Natal Witness 4 July 2000.

Candida theatre programme, 1968.

Tribute written by Estelle Sinkins, published in the The Witness, 20 July 2011[1]

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