Wilson Dunster is one of South Africa’s most finely tuned actors, whether he is playing a role in pathos or dry humour he hits the mark exactly. It is not, you might think, because he has three quarters of a century of life-experience to draw on, he had a uniquely innate quality from the start which was recognised as a student.
Why else would he become the first student to ever receive (and thereby start the tradition) a Fleur de Cap Award for Best Student. Why too would Brian Astbury, so inspired by seeing Wilson’s Orestes, create the legendry Space Theatre. Again, why would Athol Fugard have Wilson in mind for many of his plays, and why would Barney Simon want him for his Marat in his memorable production of Marat/Sade.
In many ways Wilson represents an era: Athol Fugard, The Space, The Market all that protest and experimentation that made the 70s and 80s theatre meaningful.
And now, with dwindling audiences, he and his wife Elize Cawood still draw packed houses with their two-handers at the numerous festivals across the country.
Is this not enough to make him a theatre legend?