Pierre de Wet

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DE WET, Pierre. (19**-19**) Stage, radio and film actor, director, dramatist, film director and theatre administrator. Started in film, playing the role of the boy in the first Afrikaans sound film, Moedertjie (filmed for African Film Productions by the producer Joseph Albrecht and directed by Stephanie Faure in 1931). He then left to work in England for a few years (1932-1939), largely doing musical comedy (e.g. The Cat and the Fiddle, Wild Violets and Streamline). As a stage actor he had a special talent for broad comedy and returned to begin his professional stage career with André Huguenet in As die mure kan praat ("If the walls could talk"- 1939/40?**), Dietrichstein’s Is jy ‘n bokryer? [“Are you a Mason?”- 194*], Helshoogte (Afrikaans version of Wuthering Heights, 194*). Then had a joint company with Huguenet called Teatergroep[?*], to do Absolom, My Seun! On 1 August, 1942 he broke away to begin his own touring company with stars like Paula Styger, James Norval and Anna Cloete. They toured 1942-43 with the plays Satansloon (an Afrikaans version he made of Gaslight) and Pinkie (a play he wrote, based on an expansion of the "Pinkie" role he had done in Absolom). In 1944 he retained Anna Neethling-Pohl, Jan Cronjé and Gert van den Bergh of the Volksteater as actors to expand his company, and did Die Goeie Oue Tyd by Sita (1944), Pinkie (again, under the auspices of Volksteater). In 1944 he directed his last stage work, Ontvlugting (W.A. de Klerk) before returning to film as medium and play a significant role as actor and director in the development of the Afrikaans film, particularly at Killarney Studios during the late 1950s and 1960s. Among his own films (in which he often starred) were Donker Spore (1945), Pinkie se Erfenis (based on the play Pinkie, 1946), Simon Beyers (based on the play Die Goeie Oue Tyd, 194*), Kom Saam Vanaand (based on Jan Pohl's musical comedy In 'n Skewe Straatjie, 19**) , *, Satanskoraal (196*), and. He also at various times during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s managed the Johannesburg Civic Theatre. His radio work includes the lead in a famous broadcast of Aeschylus's Agamemnon (tr T.J. Haarhoff, dir Anna Neethling-Pohl, 1942). (See Du Toit, 1988) [TH, JH]

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