“…Art can liberate… for me today… the struggle continues…”
Fred has the unique distinction of being an Honorary American Citizen. He is considered one of the leading exponents of Classic American playwrights, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Stephen Sondheim and Tony Kushner.
Fred and his actor/business partner Marcel Meyer have staged Williams’ plays that have long been forgotten or which were slammed after their first staging. He has given them a fresh look, a new interpretation, innovation and design; Marcel brings a different energy whether it be to madness, pain, aggression or sadness. Together they have captured the American theatre going public. One critic wrote: The play grabbed hold of your throat, slowly, purposefully, squeezed your breath away. The effect was riveting, frightening and horrific.
Innovation is key; discovering that Shakespeare was first performed in South Africa by sailors on board The Red Dragon in 1608, Fred has staged Hamlet in a pool of water….on stage.
With a father who was a song-and-dance man, it was inevitable that Fred would find his way into theatre. He graduated from UCT and started his career at the Space Theatre as a founder member of The Troupe Theatre Company alongside Henry Goodman, Fiona Ramsay and Richard E. Grant. They sought to deviate from commercial theatre and thereby created landmark, electrifying productions of Brecht and Berkhoff. Fred has continued that tradition – over the next forty years he would distinguish himself with over 60 plays, musicals, cabaret, and opera.
He tells his story with the beguiling honesty of a boy, somewhat amazed at his success, his opportunities and his collection of top awards.
Fred Abrahamse as an actor in Troupe Theatre Company with Sean Taylor and Fiona Ramsay
Fred Abrahamse as Designer Uncle Vanya at the Baxter Theatre