Steven Stead

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Steven Stead (196*-) is an actor, director, translator and theatre manager.


Born in Natal, Steven graduated from Natal University (Durban) in 1991 with a BA Hons in Drama. His stage career in South Africa and the UK has been extensive, involving work as performer and director in more than eighty productions, ranging from classical drama and opera to musical theatre and cabaret.

He spent 8 years living in London, where he specialised in opera direction, joining the staff of the English National Opera (ENO) in 1998 as a staff director where he directed several well-received revivals. His freelance directing work while there has included The Black Monk (Sirius Ensemble at the Bloomsbury Theatre), The Marriage of Figaro (ENO), Caterina Cornaro (QEH), Handel's Rinaldo (Bloomsbury Theatre), Amahl (Camerata Opera) and Weill Bodies (Athens). He was Associate Director of the Olivier Award winning West End musical, Our House, and has directed Alcina in Bilbao and Oviedo, Spain.

His acting roles included Mordred in Camelot (Covent Garden Festival) and Prince Charming (Cinderella - International Artists).

While based in London, Stead would come to Durban once or twice a year to get involved with interesting theatre projects and in 2004 he moved back to South Africa.

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


On his return to South Africa he became the Executive Director of KickstArt Theatre Company

As actor:

Steven has also excelled as an actor, and his many roles include "Ariel" in The Tempest at Maynardville, Hamlet for Themi Venturas Productions at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre (2001), multiple roles in KickstArt’s The Mystery of Irma Vep, Dangerous Liaisons (2004), .

As director:

For Kickstart he has directed Laughing Wild, Dracula, Dangerous Liaisons, Boston Marriage, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Popcorn, The Jungle Book, The Road to Mecca, Winnie-the-Pooh, Aladdin, Oleanna, Shirley Valentine, Run to Ground (2003), Boston Marriage (2005), Cinderella (2005), Winnie-the-Pooh (2006), The Jungle Book (2007), My Fair Lady (Playhouse Co, 2007), Valley Song (Cape Town Opera), La Traviata and Rigoletto (Opera Africa), Bravo! (Playhouse Co.), and DOF and The Golfer (Macbob Prods).

As translator

Steven Stead is the English translator of a number of Reza de Wet's Afrikaans plays, including Missing and Miracle, performed world-wide and published by Oberon Books.

Awards, etc

He has won numerous awards as both actor and directpor. Acting awards include the Cape Vita Award for Best Supporting Actor 1993 for his performance as "Ariel" in The Tempest at Maynardville, the Durban Vita Award 2000 for Best Actor for playing the lead in Hamlet at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, and the Durban Theatre Award for Best Actor 2007 for his multiple roles in KickstArt’s The Mystery of Irma Vep.

The directing awards include the 2005 Durban Theatre Award for Best Drama Director for Boston Marriage, and 2005, 2006 and 2007 Durban Theatre Award for Best Director of Children’s Theatre (for Cinderella (2005), Winnie-the-Pooh (2006), The Jungle Book (2007), respectively. The winner of the Durban Theatre and Fools Award as Best Director of a Musical and Best Musical for My Fair Lady in 2007.


Website of Kickstart at

"Adults only!" What's On - Durban, 21 July 2004[1]

Personal correspondence from Gordon Dickerson, 6 September 2018.

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