A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

drama
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

NORMAN COOMBES (article first published : 2004-05-15)

Author, director and playwright Norman Coombes passed away peacefully in Johannesburg on May 11.

Norman will be remembered fondly by long-established Durban audiences for his productions at the Lyric Theatre and for the Natal Performing Arts Council (NAPAC) as well as visiting productions.

“Perhaps he will be best-remembered by Durban theatregoers for his fine performance in the two-hander Satin and Tweed, in which he co-starred with the late David Horner,” says Robert Cross, former head of NAPAC (now the Playhouse Company).

“Written by a Durban-based Irish doctor "Frank O'Hagen", the play contrasted the lives and works of the Irish playwrights Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw, and comprised excerpts from many of their best works which required quick changes of characterisation and costume. It was an enormous success, played several seasons in Durban, toured the province and later played in Johannesburg with equal acclaim.

“Living in Johannesburg in recent years, he appeared in various television productions, films and commercials,” adds Robert Cross. “He was splendid as the disdainful waiter shovelling snails, langoustines, etc, into a concrete mixer to advertise an anti-indigestion medication. Sadly, I don't remember the product but I shall always remember Norman!”

Top Johannesburg-based all-round theatre and radio personality, Alan Swerdlow, remembers Norman Coombes as “someone who was a mentor to everyone, generous with his time and talent. I think he was one of South Africa’s most important playwrights. A Snake in the Garden stands as one of the great South African plays. His last acting job was with me when I directed Amadeus at the State Theatre a few years ago.”

Michael Richard, one of South Africa’s most respected actors, also remembers Norman Coombes’ generosity of spirit: “He was a gentleman of the theatre. He took those under his wing who were just starting out, giving them guidance and care in the early days when theatre was quite a frightening thing for them. Norman stood for professionalism and cared about theatre in its totality. He taught me many things about theatre – old-fashioned values such as professional conduct and especially how to survive when the old professionals were being very selfish!”




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart