Bill Flynn

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Won a 1975 Three Leaf Award for best actor for Hello and Goodbye and The Glass Menagerie. Was Dublin Critics Awards Best Actor for 1976 for Hello and Goodbye. Won a Sammy Award in 1979 for Play it again, Sam in Johannesburg. Also performed in Death of a Salesman, Enemy, People are Living There, A Long Day's Journey into Night, Fortune and Men's Eyes, Fangs, Don't Drink the Water, Play it again, Sam (at the Market Theatre), The Norman Conquests (at the Baxter Theatre), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and in Saturday Night at the Palace; Tsafendas; Waiting for Godot; Skelms; Magic is Alive; Grinders War; Kill and Kill Again; Playland.

Television: People are Living There; Whites; Hello and Goodbye; City Lovers.

(SACD 1975/76) (SACD 1977/78) (SACD1979/80) (SACD 1981/82) (Limelight1983/84)

FLYNN, Bill. (1948- 2007) Actor, comedian, dramatist, director and rock band member. Born in Ysterplaat, Cape Town and attended Plumstead primary and high schools. Studied drama at the University of Cape Town (BA in English and Drama) and began his career as a founder member of the Space Theatre in the early 1970s and, as a very serious and excellent young actor, he worked on 47 productions in three years. In this period he worked with Athol Fugard and Yvonne Bryceland on what are still considered the definitive productions of People are Living There and Hello and Goodbye. In addition he did Popcorn (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1973), Ruffian on the Stair, School Play, Skyvers/Jollers, Superman, 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore, A Touch of 1900s, We Bombed in New Haven, What the Butler Saw, Workplay, You’ll Come (chuckle) to Love Your ????? (snigger) Test, After Liverpool, Ashes, Don't Walk About with Nothing On, Drivers, Enemy, The Four Seasons, Fragments, The Glass Menagerie, Going to Pot, The Happy Prince, I'll Ring for more Toast, The Indian wants the Bronx, A Long Day's Journey into Night, Madly in Love, Muzeeka and Outcry.

Also directed Picnic on the Battlefield, Post Mortem and Don't Walk About with Nothing On. He moved to Johannesburg to play "Biff" in PACT's Death of a Salesman and **. He then joined the Market Theatre's The Company in 19**, for whom he did i.a. Fortune and Men's Eyes, Marico Moonshine and Mampoer, The Four Seasons, and a number of collaborative works with his friend and colleague Paul Slabolepszy. The superb Saturday Night at the Palace premiéred at the Market Theatre in 198*, as did Pale Natives later. Keen sports-lovers, they then moved into pure farce with such successes as Under the Okes, Over the Hill, Heel Against the Head (the latter filmed as well).

Besides working regularly with Slabolepszy, the 1980s saw Flynn working for Pieter Toerien as well, in. As he gained weight and lost hair, he endeared himself to the public as a comedian and worked widely on stage, film and TV. However, in 2000/1 Flynn made a resounding comeback as a serious actor in what must be the finest theatre production of the year, playing “Willy Loman” in Miller’s Death of a Salesman at the Grahamstown Festival, then touring the country (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actor 2001). His TV credits include Hello and Goodbye, People are Living There, Senor **, The Toasty Show, The Carruthers Brothers, Jozi Streets. Film credits include Saturday Night at the Palace, Heel Against the Head, Aw Schucks it's UNTAG?*, The Sunflower, Oh Schucks..I'm Gatvol?*, **.

Winner of 12 Best Actor awards by 2003, with 35 more nominations. Also numerous awards as supporting actor, e.g. the (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, for Best Supporting Actor for Doubles (1987), * Married to Anne Powers, whom he divorced and later married Jana Cilliers.

FLYNN, Bill. He starred in the PACT Arena Theatre opening production of Ken Leach’s production of The Duchess of Malfi with Leonie Hofmeyer in 1975. He starred in the PACT production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, directed by Ken Leach, together with Diane Wilson, Joe Stewardson and Richard Haines in 1975. He starred in Robert Mohr’s production of The Tempest with Patrick Magee, Paul Slabolepszy and Michael Richard for PACT at the [[Alexander Theatre in 1975. Slabolepszy and Flynn collaborated in several successful productions over the years including Heel Against the Head in 1996. He starred in John Herbert’s Fortune and Men's Eyes with Paul Slabolepszy, Ron Smerczak and Danny Keogh for The Company at The Nunnery in 1975. He starred in Ken Leach’s production of the musical Fangs with Paul Slabolepszy, Annelisa Weiland, Lesley Nott and Michael Richard for PACT in 1977. He won best actor at the DALRO Awards for his role in Play it again, Sam. He starred in the Brickhill-Burke production of Alan Aykbourn’s trilogy, The Norman Conquests, separately titled Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden, at His Majesty’s Theatre in 1979 together with Jana Cilliers, Sandra Duncan, Dorothy Ann Gould, Eckard Rabe and John Lesley under direction of Brian Rawlinson.

He starred in Peter Shaffer’s Royal Hunt of the Sun, directed by Leonard Schach together with Marius Weyers, Michael McCabe, David Horner, Patrick Mynhardt and Keith Grenville. It was staged during the opening season of the Pretoria State Theatre] in 1981. He starred in Paul Slabolepszy’s Saturday Night at the Palace with Slabolepszy and Fats Dibeko with direction by Bobby Heaney at Upstairs at the Market in 1982. It returned to the Market in October. He starred in PACT’s production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross together with Wilson Dunster, Anthony Fridjohn and Dale Cutts under Bobby Heaney’s direction at the Alexander Theatre in 1985. In 1985 he starred in Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee for Pieter Toerien. He starred in The Foreigner which Rex Garner directed in 1986. He starred in Terrence Shank’s production of David Wiltse’s Doubles at the Alhambra Theatre in December 1986. He starred in Terence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny at the Claire de Lune in 1988. He starred in Richard Harris’s The Maintenance Man at the Leonard Rayne in 1990. He starred in Janice Honeyman’s production of Sinbad’s African Adventures at the Civic Theatre in 1992. (Tucker, 1997)

FLYNN, Bill. Black Coffee (A. Christie) Pieter Toerien production, Dir: Rex Garner, CT, PE, Dbn, 1985. People are Living There, Mila Miglia with Bill Curry. Took Hello and Goodbye to Dublin and won the Dublin Critic Circle Award. Then did Woody Allen part in Play it again, Sam and got the Sammy Award for that. Hello and Goodbye & The Glass Menagerie , Three Leaf Award, 1974. Saturday Night at the Palace, won The Amstel Award as the Best Play of the Year, 1981. Death of a Salesman with Joe Stewardson & Richard Haines, (dir: Ken Leach), Outcry with Michelle Maxwell; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Victor Melleny. Hallo en Koebaai with Yvonne Bryceland.

BILL FLYNN’s career spanned more than forty years and he was celebrated as much for his serious theatrical roles as for his comedy. His role as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman garnered him every available Best Actor Award for that year. In all, Bill won 13 Best Actor Awards. He also won the Dublin Critics Award as well as a Golden Entertainer Award. Bill won a Best Screenplay Award for writing Saturday Night at the Palace. One of his most well-loved characters was Tjokkie in the hit comedies Heel Against the Head and Running Riot. He was also a talented singer and sang everything from comedy opera to rock ’n roll. After his years with Vinnie and the Viscounts, his next band, The Rock Rebels, developed a committed group of followers.


Playland programme notes, 1992.

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