Soli Philander

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Soli Philander is a South African actor, director, comedian, playwright and columnist.


Born Silamour Philander, he initially used his full name in the late 1970s and early 1980s, then assumed the better known “Solly Philander” and finally settled with “Soli Philander”, especially for his stand-up comedy, radio and TV work.

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

At 23 years of age Philander had already had considerable experience in the theatre and cabaret. His career first started The Space Theatre in Cape Town in plays such as Political Joke, The Car Cemetery, The Final Sting of the Dying Wasp and Telling Tales amongst others. He was also involved in children's educational theatre for a while; then followed the Baxter Theatre's production of Waiting for Godot which toured South Africa, and had seasons in London and America. Back home, Silamour devised, wrote, directed and eventually played a cabaret character called Rosie September. He wowed Johannesburg audiences for six months at No. 58, and for an additional season at the Oxford Hotel. (Programme of The Wrong Time of Year 1984).

Worked for Group 44 and The Space performing in Elke Ou Storie by Peter Snyders and Group 44, (at The Space, 197*), The Final Sting of the Dying Wasp (The Space, 197*, directed by Mavis Taylor), Waiting for Godot (Baxter, 1980)** Comedy of Errors (Maynardville, 1987), Jean Genet’s The Blacks (PACT, 1989), Romeo and Juliet at the (State Theatre and the Alexander Theatre, 1992), The Boabab Tree (Market Theatre 199*), .

A prolific writer and director, he wrote and starred in a number of one-man shows, [beginning with?*] Take Two at the Laager in 1991, presenter of Mnet and Kyknet's very popular celebrity show Liriekeraai, and hosts the game-show Vat A Kans . On the SABC screens he has appeared in a number of roles, including starring in Off The Record, a series satirising election politics and in the multi-lingual drama series Reflections. He did a two-year, daily stint for 567 Capetalk Radio presenting his talkshow Airborne, which followed a very successful start with Punt Geselsradio on his Afrikaans show Gorrelpunt.


Tucker, 1997.

TVSA [1].

Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

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

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