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John van de Ruit

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

About John van de Ruit

Here’s an official blurb about me, courtesy my publisher and others:

      John van de Ruit was born in Durban and educated at Michaelhouse and the University of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) where he completed his Masters Degree (Cum laude) in Drama and Performance studies. John has performed in a number of productions and highlights which include title roles in Hamlet and Master Harold… and the Boys and appearing in his own play

War Cry

      for which he received a best actor FNB VITA award nomination. He has also been seen in Greig Coetzee’s

Seeing Red

      and Athol Fugard’s

People are Living There

      , for which he received a FNB VITA award nomination. He has also starred in an independent film called

I Shot Lucy

      and an ABC docudrama,

Global Health

      , due to be screened in America. Together with actor Ben Voss he received the Johannesburg Naledi award for best comedy performance for

Green Mamba

      (2004). Most recently, together with Ben Voss, he has been nominated for best performance in a comedy or revue for his performance in

Black Mamba


As a writer, John has won a number of awards, including an FNB VITA award for best script and the Noupoort award for new writing, both for his play War Cry. He has also won two awards for his co-writing of Green Mamba. In 2004 he directed, produced and wrote his second full length play, Crooked, which premièred at the 2004 Hilton Festival. The long awaited Mamba sequel opened in July 2005 when Black Mamba premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown to both critical and popular acclaim. In May 2006, Black Mamba toured The Liberty Theatre in Johannesburg, The National Arts Festival in Grahamstown the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest before embarking on a tour to London.

His first novel, Spud, published by Penguin Books and launched nationally in September 2005, became an instant bestseller. The book was selected for the Exclusive Books Publishers’ Choice Campaign 2005 and in August 2006, Spud won the prestigious Booksellers’ Choice Award. The follow-up, Spud: The Madness Continues, reached the number one spot on local bestseller lists upon its release.


Recent comments:

  • Michaelo
    July 17th, 2008 @02:45 #


    I wanted to inform you just how powerfully I connected with Spud Milton in your superb debut novel. I was born in South Africa and grew up on the grounds of Pretoria Boys High where my father was a housemaster. We moved to New Zealand when I was 10, but those memories never left me, and I went to private boarding schools in NZ anyway. As an ex-star of the stage, choirboy, academic, journal-writer, reader and misfit, I had so much in common with Spud that its just ridiculous.

    You write exceptionally well and it is a tribute to your ability that you can connect so strongly with someone like myself who lives across two oceans. As an aspiring writer myself, I can only hope to emulate your success. Congratulations and good luck for the future books. I will await them with enthusiasm and no small amount of Nostalgia!

    PS - it seems I too am surrounded by madness wherever I go. My father was a caricature like Sparerib, my Mom's cheese slipped off her cracker, and just about everyone at school was crazy too. Maybe the madness is normal, hey?


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