Geraldine Aron

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Geraldine Aron (1941-) is an Irish-born dramatist, poet, lyricist, journalist, copywriter.


Born in Galway, in the Republic of Ireland in 1941 and educated in Dublin and London. Exploring the world, she lived in Zimbabwe and Zambia and came to South Africa as a newly wed. She lived in Cape Town between 1967 and 1983, where she became the mother of twin daughters and continued her career as an advertising copywriter. The death of her younger brother prompted her first narrative poem, BAR and GER. It was adapted for theatre and thus began her career as a playwright . She says her best work was written (and continues to be written) in Cape Town, mainly because of the wonderful start she got at The Space Theatre.

Now living in London, she returns to Cape Town for several months every year and her work continues to be produced in South African venues. She also writes travel pieces for Holiday Magazine, (Ireland) , Savanna Magazine (South Africa), Explorer Magazine (Visa) and Winescape Magazine (South Africa).

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

While much of her early work was first performed in South Africa, her work has since been performed to acclaim internationally.

For the stage

She began her career as playwright at the Space Theatre, Cape Town, when her short, poignant ode to her brother, a verse dialogue called Bar and Ger (1975), was successfully staged with Yvonne Bryceland and Wilson Dunster (1978). Most of her earlier works were performed at The Space Theatre, and after the closing of The Space, by CAPAB, the Baxter Theatre, and other companies, till her return to England in 1983, where she continued her career.

Works produced during her South African period include:

Bar and Ger (1975 - Space Theatre Cape Town, The Druid Theatre, Ireland, Royal National Theatre (Cottesloe) London, King's Head, Pentameters, The Lyric Studio, Edinburgh Festival)

Mr McConkey's Suitcase (Baxter Theatre, Cape Town)

Mickey Kannis Caught my Eye (The Kings Head, London. The Edinburgh Festival. The Space Theatre, Cape Town. The Intimate Theatre, Johannesburg)

Joggers (The Space Theatre, 1979; CAPAB; Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough).

A Galway Girl The Space Theatre, Cape Town and Druid Theatre, Galway, 1979)

Along Came a Spider (1978)/ The Little Theatre for Capab. Spider SATV (1985)

The Spare Room (Nico Malan Theatre, Cape Town, Opera House, Pretoria, Durban and Academy Theatre, Johannesburg, 1982)

On the Blue Train (a trilogy consisting of three monologues - On the Blue Train – Constantia Gable, On the Blue Train – Joe Harris, and On the Blue Train – Kathy) Baxter Theatre.

The Shrinking of Alby Chapman (Baxter Theatre Cape Town; Grahamstown Festival)

Brenda (1983) / Same Old Moon (Baxter Theatre, 1984; Druid Theatre, Galway, Ireland, 1984), The Geilgud Theatre in London’s West End.

Why Strelitzias Cannot Fly (Nico Malan Theatre,Cape Town, 1983),

Rustlers (Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, 2003).

While at The Space she sometimes collaborated with others, writing the final text and lyrics for 12 songs for, Zombie, a production based on a storyline and initial text conceived by Brian Astbury (The Space Theatre, Cape Town; the Port Elizabeth Opera House) and was a contributor to the satirical pieces The Disguise of the Ashes that arose out of the Karnaval at Scarborough to prove that Leonardo was Right - an investigation of guilt and The Final Sting of the Dying Wasp.

Many of her South African plays have been published, eleven collected in Seven Plays and Four Monologues (David Philip, 1985), while many plays have appeared in other collections or as single plays as Samuel French acting editions.

In 1983 she returned to the UK, and has continued writing plays there. Her work since includes

Olive and Hilary The Arts Theatre, Ireland

The Stanley Parkers (with The Donahue Sisters), Druid theatre company, Galway, Ireland, 1990;

The Donahue Sisters, (with The Stanley Parkers), Druid theatre company, , Galway, Ireland, 1990 (also Dublin Theatre Festival, Wimbledon Studio Theatre, London, Edinburgh Festival. Irish Arts Theatre, New York);

My Brilliant Divorce, (Druid, in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, Ireland, 2001 2003, 2007-2010, and the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End, 2004, where it garners an Olivier nomination for Best Entertainment.) Produced in 28 countries with an on going, record -breaking 14 year run in Prague.

Other plays, not written or produced in South Africa include Miracle Conway, Namaste, Mr Roper and Auntie Essie (also available as a double bill, under the title Sitting Tenants) and The My Way Residential.

For television

A number of her stage works were adapted and filmed for SABC-TV television, including Mickey Kannis Caught my Eye and Spider. She also wrote TV dramas broadcast by SABC-TV, including Jimmicks, Harry's Kid (adapted from Jack Cope's short story); and The Touch of Pink. “In Broad Daylight”


Her work of SABC Radio, includes The Marketing Man, The Shrinking of Alby Chapman, and Impressarios and Knitting Machines, while some stage plays were also broadcast on radio. Among them were Joggers, broadcast by SABC Radio, and The Donahue Sisters, A Galway Girl and Bar and Ger, The Donahue Sisters and The Stanley Parkers, all also broadcast by BBC Radio.


She wrote the following screenplays:

Bar and Ger, a short film directed by Ashley Lazarus

The Donahue Sisters A thriller

Take a Chance'' A Romantic Comedy

Maestro (rewrite for Franco Zeffirelli)

The Last Voyage of The Star Dancer Space Fiction

Awards, etc

Bar and Ger won numerous awards, including the RAPS Best Play; Transvaal Drama Festival, Best Play; The Eileen Harper Memorial Trophy. Internationally it was voted an Edinburgh Fringe First and Variety Magazine’s Edinburgh’s Best Ten, and won the Salter’s Cup UK, and the Kentucky State Thespian Award, et al.

Olive and Hilary won the Alex McGregor Trophy and the McMarten Cup

The Donahue Sisters won numerous awards, including the All-Ireland One-Act Play Festival; Best Play, Drama Festival of France; Best Play, New Zealand Drama Festival; Dick Lauder Trophy 2010; The MacLennan Prize 2010; the Mackenzie Shield 2010.

A Galway Girl was the winner All-Ireland One-Act Play Festival. BBC's choice for Prix Italia Awards Entry.

The Stanley Parkers was the winner US Interstate Play Festival; The Alex McGregor Trophy and the Wallace Bennett Cup 2010


Angela Bourke. 2002. "A Galway Girl" in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Irish women's writing and traditions (Volume 5): p. 1256[1]

Brian Astbury, 1979. The Space Die Ruimte Indawo

Brian Barrow and Yvonne Williams-Short (eds.). 1988. Theatre Alive! The Baxter Story 1977-1987.

E-mail Correspondence from Geraldine Aron (Friday 2016/11/18 01:48 PM)

Entry on Geraldine Aron in Wikipedia[2]

Gareth Cornwell, Dirk Klopper and Craig Mackenzie. 2013. The Columbia Guide to South African Literature in English Since 1945[3]

Geraldine Aron. 1985. Seven Plays and Four Monologues

Gosher, 1988

Joyce, 1999

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

The Agency website: Geraldine Aron[4]

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