Alan Swerdlow

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SWERDLOW, Alan (19**-) Stage, television and film actor, director, presenter.




He studied at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Cape Town.


Since completing his post-graduate studies at UCT's Little Theatre, he has acted, written or directed for most of the theatrical managements in the country He was under contract for PACT for eighteen months pre-1981. Worked for the People's Theatre Trust.

He was a founder member of the Youn Market Company and as a freelance actor has performed in a variety of roles.

In 2004 he was the Arts and Entertainment Specialist for the national radio station Safm 104-107 and crossed the floor to hard news as deputy on AM Live.

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

Performed in Macbeth (1981), Hardy Folk (at the Market Theatre), Holy Moses and All That Jazz (with Young Market) Hail Wedded Love (at the Baxter Theatre).

Swerdlow translated Joshua Sobol’s Ghetto which was staged by PACT and Moira Blumenthal in 1991.

He starred in Giles Havergal’s Travels with my Aunt at the Leonard Rayne Theatre in August 1994.

Jeeves Takes Charge (for Pieter Toerien);

Hamlet, A Christmas Carol, Don't Drink the Water, and A Midsummer Night's Dream (CAPAB amd NAPAC).

As Director

Alan is one of South Africa's most highly regarded theatre directors. Moving with equal facility from small one-man shows to dramas and large-scale musical extravaganzas. Among his many successes are shows as different as the smash hit A Handful of Keys (ten years on and still packing houses wherever it plays), Amadeus for the State Theatre and The King and I for PACT Opera. Recently, Alan directed Yasmina Reza's Life X3 for Daphne Kuhn's Theatre on the Square and Troupe Theatre Company, and the 25th Anniversary revival of The Other Side of the Swamp for Pieter Toerien Productions. Other productions that Alan has directed for Pieter Toerien include Jeeves Takes Charge, The Sisters Rosensweig (1995), What a Carry On!, HRH, The Book Club, the acclaimed Amy's View, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and most recently Maybe Baby, It's You.

Musical Trilogy - assistant director (NAPAC);

Romeo and Juliet (directed); The Great Gatsby (directed) (People's Theatre); directed Being Alive and Open a New Window, two gala extravaganzas for Artists Against Aids.

He directed Edward Duke’s Jeeves Takes Charge at the Richard Haines in 1993. He directed John Chapman’s Key for Two in 1994. He directed Bryan Schimmel and Ian von Memerty’s A Handful of Keys at the Civic's Youth Theatre in 1994.

Directed Key for Two (PACT) and Buddy Holly Story, Honour (2004).

Awards, etc

In his final year at UCT he was nominated for the Three Leaf Award as the most promising student.


A Handful of Keys programme notes, 1995.

Honour programme notes in 2004.

Tucker, 1997.

SACD 1980/81.

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