“…It’s an even stranger phenomenon…that one should choose a profession to try to be someone else all day…”

Annelisa Weiland might be remembered for the endearing character Hilda de Kock she played in the highly viewed and spectacularly successful television soap Sevende Laan for 20 years… but what of her Ophelia, her Cressida, Elizabeth I, Abigail, or her Marianne – substantive classic roles. We cannot disregard the power of television, only regret the fleeting passing of a theatre role. It doesn’t detract from the fact that she is an extraordinarily versatile and instinctive actress, constantly in demand, never out of work, and has acted in everything from musical theatre, “although I cannot sing”, to comedy, farce, to Shakespearean drama.

Not only did she act for PACT, for Pieter Toerien and The Market Theatre but when television started in 1976 Stephan Bouwer directed many of the classic plays for Television, Drie Susters, Die Kersietuin, Hamlet, Die Dame met die Kamelias… Annalise was Bouwer’s first choice for lead actress. This tells us too of the SABC’s early days commitment to quality ‘educational’ television.

theatrelives.co.za is a gathering of exceptional theatre histories, and proudly Annelisa joins this list. She is fun, charming and has a compelling presence.