Dawie Malan

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Dawie Malan (1949-1985) was a South African actor and director.


Born David Malan, he grew up in Maltahöhe, South West Africa/Upington,South Africa (sources conflict), Malan battled physical disability and health problems over the years to firmly establish himself as an immensely creative and talented performer and director, and an influential presence in the Cape theatre of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Died tragically at the age of 36.


He trained at the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department.


He worked at the Space Theatre, then for a while for the CAPAB drama company, before he joined SWAPAC (1976). He moved to Johannesburg in 1977 to become a founder member of Fringe theatre company. Also did freelance work for Chris Pretorius’s Glass Theatre.

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

While a student at Stellenbosch he appeared in Periandros van Korinthe (billed as David Malan, 1972),

At the Space Theatre he performed in O, die Muise (credited as Dawid Malan, 1974), Black Beauty and the Boss (Pieter-Dirk Uys, Labia Theatre, 1976), Snow White and the Special Branch (Pieter-Dirk Uys, Labia Theatre, 1976), He soon turned to directing and directed i.a. Die Trommel, Eskoriaal, Piekniek te Velde and Wooed and Viewed, and acted in Line /It's Called the Sugar Plum, Skyvers/Jollers, Snow White and the Special Branch, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and Workplay.

For SWAPAC he acted in Exit the King (King Berenger), Twee Dosyn Rooi Rose (Bernardo), The Lesson (The Professor), Elsewhere Fine and Warm (George). He also designed and stage managed Taraboemdery in 1976.

For Fringe he directed Exit the King, Deathwatch, Die Van Aardes van Grootoor, Info Scandals (The Laager 1979), The Haunted Host ** Farce About Uys (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1983), Total Onslaught 1984 (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1984). A number of these played at the Market Theatre, where he also directed International Stud (19**) and helped build The Laager. Pa, Maak Vir My 'n Vlieër, Pa, Brothers.

He directed the Pieter-Dirk Uys play Die Van Aardes van Grootoor at the Baxter Theatre (1977) and as the opening production for the Laager Theatre in September 1978. He directed the play Info Scandals at The Laager in 1979. He directed Pieter-Dirk UysKarnaval starring Magda Beukes, Lida Botha, Dale Cutts and Joey de Koker at Upstairs at the Market in 1981.

He also acted in a number of Afrikaans-language feature films: Die Spaanse Vlieg (1978), Dingetjie en Idi (1977), Eendag op ’n Reëndag (1975) and My Broer se Bril (1972).

Awards, etc


Dawie Malan (post mortem) website, 2015 [1]

Astbury, 1979

Pretoria News, 23 May 1985.

Schwartz, 1988

Tucker, 1997. 369, 400.

Elsewhere Fine and Warm theatre programme, 1976.



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