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Cape thespian Hayes dies at 48

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iol pictonight cz Peter Hayes


Peter Hayes.

Cape Town actor, director and playwright Peter Hayes has died from a suspected heart attack, at the age of 48.

Hayes, respected among the theatre community not only for his work as an actor, but his ability to use the stage as a means to address political and social issues, died on Friday night.

An advocate for gay rights, Hayes was known for works such as Get Hard, a play on homosexuality. He took the lead role in Martin Moran’s acclaimed The Tricky Part.

Hayes co-founded the Heart and Eyes Theatre Collective with Jacqueline Dommisse, and ran his own restaurant, Gorgeous, where he was head chef.

Dommisse, his close friend and business partner, said yesterday she would always remember him for his integrity and willingness to “tell stories that needed to be told”.

“I have known Peter for more than 20 years, working with him and sometimes even directing him.

“He was truly multifaceted, from the stage to the kitchen. I will always remember the countless cups of tea we drank at the kitchen table, dreaming about theatre and making theatre.”

Fahiem Stellenboom, marketing manager at the Baxter Theatre, said Hayes’s death was a great tragedy for the theatre community.

“I had the honour of working with him on several productions, and he was just incredible. He lived and breathed the theatre and was a wonderful actor, playwright and director.”

On social media, journalist Herman Lategan described him as one of the brightest thespians around.

Pnina Fenster, editor of Glamour Magazine, wrote: “Love, gratitude and adoration for Peter Hayes - passionate artist, wondrous friend, maker of gorgeousness. To the stars and back.” - Sunday Argus

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