Robin Malan

Revision as of 15:42, 20 January 2021 by Satj (talk | contribs) (→‎Career)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Robin Malan (194*-). Actor, writer, teacher, publisher.



While taking degrees in Arts and Education at UCT, he trained in the Speech and Drama Department.


He has worked in English teaching and theatre-in-education all his life.

Worked at the Space Theatre in the early 1970s. Taught at University of Stellenbosch Drama Department in the 1970's and tutored in the English Department at the University of Cape Town.

In 1974 Malan became artistic director of PACT Playwork theatre-in-education company. He created a symbiotic unity of theatre and education by making Theatre in Education (TIE) the basis of their work. Instead of presenting dramatized versions of literary texts prescribed to schools, the texts were use to address socio-political issues. Management policy and rules laid down by education department led to Malan’s resignation in 1978. He was Assistant Head at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College in Swaziland, and ran a specialist bookshop in Mbabane, Swaziland. He then moved to Botswana to teach at **.

In 199* he returned to South Africa, settling in Cape Town where he does volunteer work for Triangle Project and writes a monthly column ‘Young Gay Guys’ for Exit newspaper. He was one of the founding editors of English Alive, is the Series Editor for the Siyagruva Series of novels for South African teens.

He was the founder of Junkets, a small-scale publisher based in Cape Town, South Africa, formed to publish his novel Rebel Angel in 2005, in association with Snailpress.

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

Since 1959 he has played many roles at the Little Theatre, Cape Town. He was very active in youth theatre and was one of the forces behind the organising of the Theatre for Youth Winter School of Drama in 1964.

One of the founding editors of the short-lived theatre journal Teater/Theatre SA (1968/69).

He has appeared on stage in Death of a Salesman (1962-3), Periandros van Korinthe, The Diary of Anne Frank, King Lear (Maynardville 1966), Major Barbara.

He directed Iphigenia in Tauris (1960), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, When Thou Art King, The Angry Old Man, The Exception and the Rule, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; directed and acted in That Skelm Scapino (1976).

He directed productions like Miss Los Istrata (1972) and The Fall and Redemption of Man (1973). Devised Workplay and directed A Phoenix too Frequent and Skyvers/Jollers for the Space Theatre, and acted as a judge for the one-act play competition held in 1972-3.

He directed children’s plays such as Old King Cole (written by Ken Campbell) and Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne) for PACT Playwork.

Wrote and adapted the texts for iHamlet (2012),

In 2005 he founded Junkets, the small-scale publishing house, in association with Snailpress, and has published numerous volumes of poetry, plays and novels under the imprint since.


He received the Molteno Medal for lifetime service to literature by the Cape 300 Foundation.

Awarded the English Academy of Southern Africa's Gold Medal for 2014 for his services to English over a long career in education and theatre.


Books Live [1].

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities M

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page