Robert Kirby

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KIRBY, Robert. (1936-) Satirist, columnist, performer, playwright and director. In the 1960s and 1970s he wrote and performed in numerous sparkling revues, including Eight Birds (19**), Eight Beasts (19**), How Now Sacred Cow? (1976*?). Eight Beasts theatre company in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the directors were Robert Kirby and Michael Lovegrove. ????]Also wrote a number of satirical plays, including It's a Boy! (1981), Heliotrope Bouquet (199*), While Stocks Last (1991 - Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best New Indigenous Script), ****. His satirical prose works and particularly his newspapers columns over the years have been most popular.

Kirby was born in Durban and educated there and in Kimberley. He studied music at the University of Cape Town and then joined the SABC as an announcer/producer. He worked after that in London for the BBC in both radio and television and came back to South Africa and to the SABC as a drama producer. His early morning programmes in the late 60's are well remembered.

KIRBY, Robert. Satirical writer of revues and plays. He wrote the show called Finger Trouble in 1968. Late shows were to include Eight Birds, Eight Beasts, The Dot Dash Dot Show, How Now Sacred Cow and many others. His revue Brave New Pretoria has been critically acclaimed as his best. The Lindberg’s joined him in his show 8 Birds at the Labia Theatre in 1970. His The Dot-Dash Show starring himself and Terry Lester was staged at the Little Theatre in 1975. His How Now, Sacred Cow? was staged at Upstairs at the Market in 1977. PACT staged his one-man revue Quodlibet at the Arena in 1978. He wrote, directed, and co-starred (with Terry Lester) in Separate Development at the Laager in 1980. Together with Terry Lester he presented Academy Rewards at the Academy Theatre in 1981. Pieter Toerien and Shirley Firth’s last joint production was the Baxter Theatre production of his It's a Boy! starring Dale Cutts, Bo Petersen and James Irwin and directed by Keith Grenville at the Intimate Theatre in 1982. He contributed to Graffiti 84, the Momentum Theatre’s first production in 1984. Robert Whitehead directed his The Wrong Time of Year starring Richard Haines and Anneline Kriel in 1984. HisThe Bijers Sunbird starring James Mthoba and Sean Taylor under Kirby’s direction was staged at Upstairs at the Market in April 1986. ***(Tucker, 1997)

KIRBY, Robert, It's a Boy! Keith Grenville (dir). The play was a return visit to the Baxter Theatre in 83 which played to packed houses last August during the Baxter 82 season. Then transferred to JHB by Pieter Toerien. Playing at the Academy Theatre.


Programme of the play The Wrong Time of Year by Robert Kirby produced by Pieter Toerien, Monday, November 26th, 1984.

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