Des and Dawn

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Des and Dawn is the name under which the couple Des Lindberg and Dawn Lindberg originally performed as singers.

The name soon caught on and became a general way of referring to the influential theatrical couple, who went on to become a very successful production company, doing theatre, musicals, industrial theatre and sound recording. They themselves used the name Des and Dawn Lindberg on posters and and programmes at one time, while some writers also refer to them simply as The Lindbergs.

See also the individual entries under Des Lindberg and Dawn Lindberg

Their joint work on many projects have been undertaken under a variety of company names:

Des and Dawn: Singers and performers

They started out as the singing duo Des and Dawn in the 1960s, travelling the country and specializing in folk music in both English and Afrikaans.

Folk on Trek Productions

From there they developed the company Folk on Trek Productions to manage their shows. Based in Johannesburg it became the base from which they gradually moved on to cabaret and, in the 1970s, their larger TV shows and theatre productions. The Soirée Society also grew out of this activity.

The Soirée Society

Focused on experimental as well as intimate theatre, this was the banner under which they held regular musical Soirées at the Lindbergh home in Houghton.

CAT Productions

In the 1980s their work had become very diverse and they registered a theatrical company called Cabaret and Theatre Productions, but better known as CAT Productions, to manage their many projects.

Production work

CAT Productions put in a very competitive tender for the theatre that was to be built in the old Newtown produce market, but lost to Mannie Manim and Barney Simon, who then went on to found the Market Theatre.

They put on a range of musical works in the 1970s and 1980s, including Pippin (1975), their highly controversial yet successful tour of Godspell (1973), put on at non-theatrical venues such as the Christian Brother’s Colleges’ school halls, in order to circumvent the censorship system and ignore the ire of the more traditional church leaders. Other successful productions include My Name is Alice, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and **. Their later production of King Afrika (198*??) was less of a success.

By the 1990s they too had moved into the lucrative field known as industrial theatre.

The many musicals and plays produced by Des and Dawn Lindberg include: Godspell ('73, '74, '75, '77, ’85 (with PACT), '94), "Pippin", which starred Sammy Brown ('75), The Shrew ('75), The Black Mikado ('76), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, starring Abigail Khubeka and Judy Page ('78), Lennon ('82), I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road ('83), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour ('86) (Vita Award: Best Production), A, My Name is Alice ('86), When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout ('87), King Afrika starring Henry Cele, Mara Louw, Elzabe Zietsman and Abigail Khubeka ('89), Wanna Be Gonna Be, a development show staged at the Market Theatre and the Civic Theatre (2000), Popcorn (Johannesburg Civic '98 / Real Concerts '99) (22 Vita nominations, 5 Awards), Sex, Tango & Everything Else ('01/ '02), The Vagina Monologues ('03 , '04), Des & Dawn Still Truckin' ('05, '06), Unicorns, Spiders & Dragon's Tales ('05, '06), The Good Body ('07), **


Mona Vida de Beer 1995. Revised ed. Who Did What in South Africa. Johannesburg: Ad Donker.

Peter Joyce. 1999. A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography. Cape Town: Francolin Publishers.

Pat Schwartz 1988. The Best of Company: The Story of Johannesburg's Market Theatre. Johannesburg: Ad Donker.

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