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RODNEY FRANKLAND (article first published : 2005-02-18)

Pietermaritzburg theatre personality Rodney Frankland has died at the age of 63.

Rodney Frankland was born in Pietermaritzburg and educated at Merchiston Preparatory School and Maritzburg College. After qualifying as a medical technologist in Durban, he was in charge of medical laboratories at several hospitals including Grey's, Northdale, Greytown, Ladysmith and Addington in Durban.

In 1982 Frankland was appointed the first theatre manager at the Winston Churchill Theatre. In 1989 he became the first general manager of the Pietermaritzburg Philharmonic Society. After the society disbanded in 1997 Frankland was employed by the municipality as a hall manager.

"Rodney was a stalwart of amateur theatre," says fellow thespian Don Jones. "He was a chairman of the Natal Society Drama group based at the Cygnet Theatre."

Frankland was active as a performer and a director and will be remembered for his productions of Go Bang Your Tambourine, In Praise of Love, A Christmas Carol, Dry Rot, We'll Meet Again - Vera Lynn, La Serva Padronne and Sailor Beware! - Stephen Coan.

Ed note: I worked with Rodney Frankland on many productions firstly when I was living in Pietermaritzburg and actively involved in shows for the Pietermaritzburg Philharmonic Society. After I moved to Durban, we kept in close contact and always met up for a chat when we took shows to the Winston Churchill. He made a considerably contribution to the Pietermaritzburg theatre scene. His mother, Beth Frankland, worked for many years for the PPS. Caroline Smart)




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