Basil Rubin

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Basil Rubin (19*-) Impressario.


A wine chemist and the son of a cinema owner.




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

He owned the Pinewood Cinema in Pinelands circa 1963. He presented bio-vaudeville programmes – live entertainment preceding the film – with Pieter Toerien. He formed Toerien-Rubin and staged many variety shows topped by visiting British artists such as vocalist Alma Cogan and Dickie Valentine, booked by Hugo Keleti. Toerien-Rubin brought out the English comedians Dora Bryan and Alfred Marks in 1964. Together with Pieter Toerien he staged James Ambrose Brown’s The Years of the Locust at the Alexander Theatre, starring Johann Nell, Frank Shelley and Yvonne Bryceland in 1966. Together with Toerien he brought Russ Conway back to the Civic Theatre and Hollywood dancer-actress Cyd Charisse and her husband, Tony Martin. They also presented Aleksei Arbuzov’s The Promise, starring English actor Andrew Ray, John Fraser and British actress Olive McFarland [1] here in 1967. It was directed by Leonard Schach. Toerien-Rubin also staged the revue Maggie and Frank, starring Maggie Soboil and Frank Lazarus, at the Brooke Theatre in 1967. Together with Pieter Toerien he started importing complete productions from the West End, starting with Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, starring Richard Todd, Jean Kent, Vanessa Lee, Peter Graves, Derek Bond and Joyce Grant in 1969. They also brought Dames at Sea [2] to the Alexander Theatre from America, directed by Don Liberto and Jimmy Edwards’s London hit Big Bad Mouse, starring Cardew Robinson and Bess Finney circa 1969.

Together with Shirley Firth and Toerien he stepped forward as new management of the Intimate Theatre in 1969. Their first co-production was The Secretary Bird which was directed by Kerry Jordan and starred Jeremy Hawk, Shelagh Holliday, Ivan Berold and Shirley Firth. Toerien-Rubin staged Noël Coward’s Fallen Angels at the Alexander Theatre circa 1970. It starred Hermione Gingold and Joan Heal. Toerien, Rubin and Firth staged Anthony Shaffer’s thriller Sleuth, starring Ralph Michael and Nicholas Amer, and directed by Warren Jenkins at the Intimate Theatre circa 1970. Toerien-Rubin brought director Anthony Sharp and actors Cicely Courtneidge, Jack Hulbert, Roger Livesey, Ursula Jeans, David Kossoff and Robertson Hare from London to star in Oh, Clarence at the Civic Theatre circa 1970.

He presented Mummenschanz [3] at the Civic Theatre in 1984. In association with the Market Theatre he presented Herb Gardiner’s I'm not Rappaport in 1986. In association with CAPAB he presented William Luce’s Zelda at the Adcock-Ingram in August 1987. He co-presented Panorama with Pieter-Dirk Uys at the Alexander Theatre in 1987.

Awards, etc


Tucker, 1997.

Numerous entries in the NELM catalogue.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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