In my opinion, journalist and art critic Peter Feldman, is a priceless ‘antique’ and is as iconic to South African theatre, as Madiba was to the freedom struggle. To some this may seem a resounding exaggeration however local theatre has had its struggles too like our democracy, and on many levels, Feldman has served the industry unwaveringly for almost 50 years. Also picking up on this dedication was Standard Bank, who recently honoured Feldman with a Joy of Jazz Award for his long-standing support of the arts.
The Joy of Jazz who have just celebrated their 20th year, give awards annually to noted artists and writers who have made a contribution to music and the arts. Feldman has been immortalised along with the likes of Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Jonas Gwangwa, Sipho Mabuse and Sibongile Khumalo. Over the last half century Feldman served with The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, Dustin Hoffman, Roger Moore plus the late Robin Williams. He toured with Queen for a week in London plus nailed an interview with The Rolling Stones prior to their visit to SA in 1995.
“Feldman has served the industry unwaveringly for almost 50 years.”
Feldman’s work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines, including Artslink. He also worked on TV and radio in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He wrote lyrics for Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, “Video Games,” in 1988. He also coined the phrase “Local is Lekker” which he used in his columns in The Star Tonight and broadcast in the 70s on David Gresham’s popular afternoon show on Springbok Radio.
With his diverse experience in the arts you can rest assured that Feldman’s reviews of any current theatrical production, movie or book are derived from a lifetime of love, dedication and experience. Personally if I do not see him at an opening night I wonder if I should be there. Feldman is my lighthouse. His presence is a stamp of approval for any entertainment currently happening in Johannesburg for me.
“I say “Viva Feldman viva!” Long may he continue to dazzle us all with his reviews…”