“…looking for a character is a dark journey…finding it is like the rising of the son…”


Antoinette Kellerman has a cupboard full of Awards which after 40 years she has decided to unpack and put on display in her Laaiplek home to show off and finally embrace her extraordinary career. And so she should. Several Fleur du Caps, Vitas, DALROs (still others) and in 2008 she was honoured with the SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns Award.

As a young girl dreaming of a future, Antoinette wanted to be a Private Investigator. In a sense she achieved just that by becoming an actress. After all, a good detective must climb inside a character to analyse the motives for their crime. She has done this with Lucienna, Anna, Madam de Montriul, Elizabeth Lear… climbed inside complex powerful women birthed from the pens of masterful classical writers.

The clever manipulation of words is what turns her on when she reads a role for the first time. And then comes the director. He/she must be challenging, must force her to find the motives, the psyche, even the politics of her characters. One director whom she has known since her varsity days who makes all these demands, who stretches her, whose creativity, originality, and artistry excites her, is Marthinus Basson. They have one of those rare but brilliant director/actor relationships that make history, leaving an incredible impact on South African theatre.

Antoinette lives for the day when theatre and the arts will once again be recognised, at government level, for its power to shift people, change lives, and to heal.