Keith Anderson

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(19**-) Circus performer, puppeteer, technical director and scenic designer. * ,


He was born in Cape Town.



Studied art at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Art.


He joined John Wright's Marionettes while still in his teens. He toured the Cape Province in 1949 with his marionettes and in 1961 he started a professional seasoned marionette theatre, Teatro Dei Piccoli (“theatre for small people”) in Margate. In 1964 Tim and Margaret Heale took over the running of Anderson’s company and toured for CAPAB until 1967.

He was the resident designer for the Little Theatre in 1964.

In 1990 Andersen returned to CAPAB Puppets to tour schools with marionettes, rod-puppets, glove puppets and Bunraku- and opera puppet productions such as The Magic Flute and Turandot. His other interest is the world of circus and he has become a world authority in the art of the flying trapeze. In 19** he founded a circus school (Circus Osler Circus School ) in Cape Town, which he funded with funds raised by his designs for décor and costumes for most of the leading producing theatres in South Africa and elsewhere.

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

He did designs for the JODS production of South Pacific which was staged at the Civic Theatre by Brickhill-Burke in 1969. It starred Inia te Wiata, June Hern, Jean Dell and James White **

The years 1971 tot 1972 saw a brief revival of the company as Die Nasionale Poppeteater van Suid-Afrika/ The National Puppet Company of South Africa. Over the years his more than 270 trainees from his Circus Osler Circus School in Cape Town graduated to the centre rings of the world's greatest circuses. E.g. 1969 he began a long association with the American giant Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, when one of his acts came under contract with them.

As designer he has more than 1000 credits for musicals, operas, ballets, and extravaganzas, plays events, etc to his credit locally and internationally. These include South Pacific (JODS/ Brickhill-Burke, 1969), * Meet Me In St. Louis (Broadway, NY, 19**), Cats (Toerien, 2001), * and six Sun City extravaganzas (including the 1997 production Baletsatsi). Between 1997-2003 he also worked for Walt Disney on their themed ice shows (Peter Pan, Mickey's 60th Birthday, etc.) which toured the world and devised and directed the Big Apple Circus' productions Clown About Town and Opps! - The Stage Show which played in New York and toured the States.

Other design work includes the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and the ICC Cricket World Championship (2003?*).

Awards, etc

Won the regional Vita Award (1993-1994) for Best Set designer for the CAPAB production of Arcadia. Awarded a Fleur du Cap Award for Best Contribution to Stage Design for the touring production of Cats (2001), ****


Theatre programme for the Dora Bryan revue This and That, 1964.

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