Peter Court

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Peter Court () is an actor, dancer, director, writer, puppet master, educationist.


He lived in Nigeria, where his parents worked for the Queen's Trust, till he was five. While there, his parents bought a couple of puppets from a person who was moving away. His parents then moved to the UK till he was 11 and returned to South Africa, where they lived in Sasolburg.

There Jannie Lindeque, manager of the Etienne Rousseau Theatre in Sasolburg, opened up the world of theatre for Peter by letting his play with his puppets there and involving him in a children’s circus that Lindeque also ran, as the ringmaster. He soon started clowning, became a trapeze and tight rope artist.

Since he could not complete a matric in south Africa because he was severely dyslexic, he went back to the UK to do some O and A levels, when he was 16. He then joined the West Glamorgan Youth Dance Company, a move that changed his life. He met and befriended Catherine Zeta Jones there, the two of them becoming dance partners for two years.

As a mature student he graduated from the University of Plymouth (U.K.) with a combined honours degree in Design Arts and in Theatre Arts and Performance. His speciality field was Symbolic Theatre – dance, puppets and circus and their uses and meaning in performance.

After moving between the UK and South Africa a couple of times (working as a stage manager, professional director and dance teacher), he visited his parents in South Africa again for three weeks in 1995, in a time when his father was being transferred to Durban. Deciding to stay and help them move, he was offered a contract to direct, write and act in a puppet show at The Playhouse in Durban.

He became a freelance theatre-maker, and has written, directed, designed or performed in numerous productions since then, projects including everything from Shakespeare to puppetry, from pantomime to farce. For example he apparently wrote every adult pantomime in Durban till 2010.

He gradually also moved into education and life coaching, becoming involved with a range or organizations and initiatives and founding his own company, Creative Madness, in this regard.

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

As performer and theatre-maker

Based in Durban, he has worked with numerous theatre and performance companies, e.g. as a regular collaborator with the KickstArt Theatre Company and the Young Performers Project, as well as his own company called Creative Madness (Pty) Ltd (the latter working in theatre and education, also internationally). Over the course of almost 30 years he has created or helped to create productions for a range of venues and companies, including such commercial entities as the uShaka Marine World, Unilever, the ICC and others.

Among the works have been: ,

A nominee and/or winner of several Vita Awards and Durban Mercury Theatre Awards, he has worked on acclaimed shows like The Glass Menagerie (Best Set and Lighting design), Memory of Water (best Supporting Actor), The Red Coat Tales (Best Costume Design), Aldo Brincat's King Kong (2001, Best Director), Memory of Water (Best Director), The Wizard of Oz (Best lead, 2008), Cabaret (performer, 2012), Can You Feel It? (writer and director, with Charon Williams-Ros, 2013), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Puss in Boots (performer, 2015/6),

As teacher and coach

He teaches Theatre Arts and Performance at the Our Lady of Fatima School in Durban and tends to focus on strengthening school systems through the creative arts and life orientation programmes.

Management and development initiatives

He is listed as a team member at Footsteps[1], a not-for-profit association of organisation development and development practitioners and as the National Creative Arts implementation partner for the Mr Price Foundation[2].


"Peter Court" in Footsteps[3]

"Something saucy up his sleeve…", interview with Peter Court by Billy Suter, in ...SoSuterBill... (Posted on September 14, 2021) [4]

Go to the ESAT Bibliography

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