“…The thing that will change our culture again… will be the arts, it will not be sport…”
Nicholas is, in no clear order, actor, writer, director and innovator – all of these in equal measure, with equal passion, equal skill, equal exuberance and energy. He has taken his style of theatre across the world, across Africa, to fishing villages and remote settlements where few white men, let alone actors, have journeyed.
Having grown up in the sacred hills of the Matopos, Africa is in his soul, drawing him away from conventional paths to find theatre in unusual places; among the Bushmen in the Kalahari where he learnt their mime and dance; he spent time with the drummers of Zomba, Malawi, the naked Himba, and exotic Herero, the hunters of Luangwa, the white chief of Mahenya.
He formed “Theatre for Africa” in 1989 and travelled extensively with productions focused on conservation. He caught the attention of the British Royal Family and has given private performances in Balmoral. They also performed to the US State Department. His plays Horn of Sorrow and Guardians of Eden had a significant impact on the international regulation of the ivory trade.
Nicholas might be better known to the public for his annual satirical/comedic production of Raiders which he has performed at the Grahamstown Festival over a record breaking 30 years to packed houses.
He has created over a dozen theatres. His lifelong friend Alexander McCall- Smith funds his present theatre The Rosebank in Cape Town; its intention is to create new plays, to mentor young writers and performers, to explore those hidden alternate corners of theatre where only Nicholas has dared to go.
He has been encouraged and supported by his wife Liz , also an actress and teacher and their three children.
In 2014 he was honoured with the Fleur de Cap Lifetime Achievement Award.