Michael Picardie

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Michael Picardie (19**-) is a South African born actor, director and playwright.

He was trained in theatre by Muriel Alexander from the age of 11 to 16 in Johannesburg, and won Eisteddfod medals for acting.

He later gained experience at the University of the Witwatersrand where he did a B.A. in Politics, English, and African Studies (1957) and a B.A.Hons in Politics (1958). While there he acted for the Wits University Players in Julius Caesar (Shakespeare), The Duchess of Malfi (Webster) ") and The Male Animal (James Thurber), He also at the time played for the Johannesburg Reps in 's Under Milk Wood (Dylan Thomas) and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare).

He played Polynices in "Oedipus at Colonus" for the Oxford University Dramatic Society (1958). He was directed by Cecil Williams (1953) in Johanneburg and then by Andre Van Gyseghem (1959) in Cape Town in "The Tempest" as Ariel, and in "The Rape of the Belt" (Cape Town/Van Gyseghem 1959) as Theseus, and then by Robert Atkins in London again as Ariel and as Tobias in "Tobias and the Angel"(1960).

His plays "Debbie Come Home" and "Whiteman" were produced on BBC TV and ITV in London (1961 - 1962). His play " Shades of Brown" was produced in London in 1979 with Antony Sher as Captain Jaap Van Tonder for which Sher was nominated for an Evening Standard award, with the author playing Jannie Veldsman."Ancestors and Diamonds" was performed at the Northcott Theatre Exeter which also revived "Shades of Brown" . "Shades of Brown" was translated and performed in Denmark, Sweden and Norway in the early 1980's. It played in New York, Toronto, Brussels and at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg in 1980 with Dale Cutts and Bill Curry. At its student performance earlier that year at the Asoka Theatre at the University in Durban the Special Branch filmed the cast and the audience and the director stopped the show.

"The Cape Orchard" toured England and Wales and came to the Young Vic Theatre in 1987 produced by the Foco Novo Theatre Company. He played in Albee's Tiny Alice, in Fugard's "Hello and Goodbye" and directed and performed in "Boesman and Lena" for Everyman Theatre in Cardiff. He played Shorty in People are Living There also by Fugard for the Sherman Arena Company. He has toured his one-man performances "Shaloma", "The Zulu and the Zeide" (inspired by Dan Jacobson's story of that name) based on adaptations from the novel See Under Love by David Grossman ("Momik"), He has dramatised and enacted some of the stories of Etgar Keret, and his own story "May You Grow Like An Onion With Your Head In The Ground" in England and Wales during the years 2000-2013. He has an M.Phil. (Aberystwyth University) on "The Drama and Theatre of Two South African Plays Under Apartheid" (22/9/2009) - about Fatima Dike and Gcina Mhlophe whom he interviewed as part of a cross-section of South African women theatre writers including Clare Stopford, Aletta Bezuitenhout, Reza De Wet, Susan Pam-Grant, Saira Essa, Phyllis Klotz and Poppy Tsira. It contains a psychoanalytic and post-structuralist analysis of theatre generally which is elaborated and put into a wider context in his Ph.D.

Three of his plays are contained in a portfolio/critical commentary for a Ph.D."Towards a Philosophy of Theatre...."(University of South Wales 14/4/14) published with a new critical commentary as The Classical and the Modern in Three South African Plays by Lap-Lambert, Saarbrucken, Germany (2015.  Other plays include "Mandela's Child" and "African Hamlet" (the latter is still being written). His story "I Had a Black Man" was published in Africa South and his poetry "Trance Dance for the Cape KhoiSan"  appeared in New Coin. "Shades of Brown" was published in Market Plays (Ad. Donker 1986). See his website michaelpicardie.co.uk. for further details and contact e-mail address.