Graham Weir

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Graham Weir (1959-2020) Actor, singer, playwright.



Born in Scotland, Weir came to South Africa at the age of 5, when his parents settled in Benoni on the East Rand. His sister is the actress and singer Christine Weir. The Weir siblings had their initial exposure to stage performance with the musical evenings regularly held at their home and the amateur theatre company and and choir founded by his parents. His first stage role was in Oliver Twist for this group.

Graham studied for a year at Wits Drama school and then obtained a National Diploma in Dramatic Art, at the Pretoria Technikon (Tshwane University of Technology in 1980. Then he went to England to dodge the draft, before returning to work in theatre in a variety of capacities.

Graham passed away in Cape Town of a stroke on 1 December, 2020.

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

He began his career as a performer with PACT in 1981, appearing in 24 productions for them, before becoming a free-lance stage, film and TV artist.

Stage work

In 1985 he and his sister founded the hugely successful a cappella group Not the Midnight Mass, which also featured Jenny de Lenta, Alan Glass and Graham Clarke, performing songs and comedy.

His numerous stage appearances as actor have included roles in The Dybbuk (1986), Macbeth (as "Ross", 1996), Lost in the Stars (199&/9?), The Winter's Tale (Maynardville), Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train (2003), Waiting for Godot, The Blue Iris (2012).

Roles in musical productions include shows like Jesus Christ Superstar (Durban Playhouse, 1991), Sweeney Todd, Queen at the Opera, The Shakespeare Revue (1997)

During the course of his 40 year long career he wrote, directed and performed in a number of his own plays and musical pieces, among them BoBo (a play for solo performance, 1987); Barney is Making a Party (a play for 3 actors, 1988); Psychedelic Cowboy and Sister Nun (a musical for 6 performers, 1992); Brief Descriptions 2 (a play for one man, 1994); Graham Weir's Elastic Band (1997); Tales from a Dark Corner (a one man drama, 1998); Craneman (a play for 3 actors and a 3-piece band, 2001); Letters from Patient Essop (one man musical with small band, 2002/8); How Graham Weir Accidentally Managed to Stay Alive (one man comedy, 2005-6); Songs of Hanging and Redemption (a cabaret for 3 musicians, 2008); Noah of Cape Town (an a capella musical for 16 actor/singers, 2005/2009) and Dead Yellow Sands (a play for solo performance, 2015).

Film and TV work

He appeared in numerous feature films and TV dramas and series, including:

In Film:

Van der Merwe P.I. ("Rocco", 1985), An African Dream (Lout 1 ("Ned"), 1987); Merchants of War ("Vaisal", 1989); In the Name of Blood ("Art", 1989); Rising Storm ("Gerard de la Fanool", 1989); Final Cut ("Snuff Movie Director", 1989); Burndown ("Freddie", 1990); Return to Justice ("Jackal". 1990); Thieves of Fortune ("Pirana", 1990); Pursuit ("Gen. Carlos Da Costa", 1991); Cyborg Cop (Local 1: "Jive", 1993);

Boesman and Lena (2001), Goodbye Bafana ("Tough warder, 2007), Spud ("Viking", 2010), Once Upon a Road Trip ("James", 2013), Spud 3: Learning to Fly ("Viking", 2014), Bentley, Boesman & Lena,

On Television and video:

Sentinel ("Anvil", 1993); Tropical Heat ("Ted Waltham", 1993); The Visual Bible (Acts, "Bar-Jesus", 1994); The Adventures of Sinbad (1997, season 2 episode 11: The Invaders - "Ruane")[1]; From Dusk Till Dawn (3: The Hangman's Daughter - "Lazaro", 1999);

Bentley ("Bentley", 2006); To Be First ("David Hume", 2007), The Devil's Whore ("Sergeant at Arms", 2008), Crusoe ("Rebel Soldier", 2008), Of Kings and Prophets (), Black Sails ("Captain Naft", 2014-5), Jamillah and Aladdin (2016), Hotel ("Oom Dirk", 2016-2017),. Van der Merwe ("Doctor", 2017),

2006Bentley (TV Series)



Barrack Sergeant

2002The Piano Player

Sick Man

2002Mama Africa (segment "Raya")
2001Raya (Short)
2000Boesman and Lena

Recycle man

1999Aces (Short)

Awards, etc

In 1991 he received the Evening Herald Award for Best Cabaret Performance for Not the Midnight Mass and in 1992 the DALRO Award for Best Cabaret Performance (also for Not the Midnight Mass).

The 1993-1994 both regional and national Vita Awards for Best Playwright of the Year and Best Play Script of the Year were awarded to him for Brief Descriptions 2

He subsequently received two Fleur du Cap Awards, one for Not the Midnight Mass in 2009 and a second in 2016 for Dead Yellow Sands.


The Dybbuk programme, 1986.

"Akteur Graham Weir sterf skielik", Die Burger 2 December, 2020 (P. 3)

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