Bobby Heaney

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Bobby Heaney (1952-) is a South African television, film and stage producer and director.


Bobby is married and the couple has two sons.



He graduated from the University of Cape Town Drama Department in 1975.


Was with CAPAB in 1976 and PACT English drama 1977-1980.

Started out as a young actor for ** and PACOFS. Then made his name as director, becoming one of the leading directors of his generation. Later moved to television in the late 1980s though still doing some theatre work. He directed Louis Motors for TV. It was origihnally scripted by Robert Kirby but adapted for the SABC by Franz Marx.

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

As actor

Performed in Julius Caesar (Maynardville 1976), Butley (as “Joey”, with PACT), Hamlet (as “Horatio”, with PACT), Macbeth (as “Malcolm”, with PACT), A Tribute to Lili Lamont (as “Tommy Alvarez”), Golda, Misalliance, Ross (as “Hamed”), Present Laughter (as “Roland Maule” with PACT), The School for Scandal (as “Benjamin Backbit” with PACT), Rookery Nook (as “Clive” with PACT), The Crucible (as “Reverend Hale”), Windmills of the Mind (PACT 1979), Othello (Maynardville 1982).

Television appearances include the title role in Poor Britos, The Diggers, All the Gold and the second series of Westgate.

As director

In 1980 he made his stage directorial debut with the Market Theatre Company production of The Indian Wants the Bronx.

He subsequently directed Die Onverwagte Besoeker (with PACT), Faith Healer, Saturday Night at the Palace, Talley's Folly Upstairs at the Market in 1982, Lone Star and Pvt. Wars, two plays by American playwright James McLure [1] (1951-2011) (1982), The Dining Room, Virginia Upstairs at the Market in February 1983, My Seuns for TRUK in 1984.

His production of Strindberg’s Miss Julie starring Sandra Prinsloo and John Kani originated at the Baxter Theatre and went to the Market Theatre in February 1985.

He directed Die Trem se Naam: Begeerte, an Afrikaans translation of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marius Weyers and Brumilda van Rensburg for TRUK in May 1985, Glengarry Glen Ross (PACT, 1985), Translations(1985), Making Like America (1986), Wild Honey (August 1986).

His productions of Harold Pinter’s One for the Road and Samuel Beckett’s Catastrophe were staged for the Market at the Wits Theatre in 1985.

He directed The Maids for PACT at the Windybrow Theatre in 1987.

His production of Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Largo Desolato was staged by PACT in 1988 and he directed Shakespeare’s The Winter's Tale for them later that same year.

He directed Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood at the Alexander Theatre in 1989. Also directed Paul Slabolepszy's Smallhonding at Nico Malan in 1989.

He directed Paul Slabolepszy’s Pale Natives at the Market in 1994.

Directed Karoo Grand, Smallholding (Market 1989), Not the Big Easy (2007, Theatre on the Bay), Judgement.

Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller , Baxter Theatre, 2001.

In 1982 made his directorial debut with Highrise Cowboy (as well as assistant producing Hamlet) for SATV.

Awards, etc

Awards, etc

Bobby has won several national and regional awards for Best Director over the years. In 1980 he made his stage directorial debut winning the Breytenbach Epathlon Best Director award with the Market Theatre Company production of The Indian Wants the Bronx.

As director of Death of a Salesman he won a Fleur du Cap Award as well as a Vita Award (Gauteng region) in 2001.

He also won awards as best director for Pvt. Wars and Lone Star, Miss Julie and Saturday Night at the Palace, The Dining Room and Memoir. Talley's Folly.

Death Defying Acts (Director of the Year, 1999/2000).

He was nominated for and Artes Award Best Actor for his role on television as "Bitos" in Poor Bitos.


SACD 1977/78; 1978/79; 1979/80; 1980/81; 1981/82; Limelight 1983/84.

Sunday Times Magazine, 2 July 1989.

CAPAB Brochure, Aug-Nov 1989.

Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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