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Thursday, November 3, 2011


One of Durban’s most pro-active and positive supporters of theatre and a theatre judge, Maurice Kort, passed away peacefully at Highway Hospice early this morning (November 3).

Maurice had not been well after returning from an overseas visit recently and put it down to tiredness. Eventually he visited his doctor who diagnosed cancer of the sigmoid colon which had spread to the liver. His condition worsened until he was hospitalised and then moved to Hospice. His brother, Norman Kort, came over from the United States to be with him during his last days.

“Maurice Kort had been a Durban Theatre Awards judge for the past seven years. He was a valued member of the judging panel whose input was always clear-sighted and positive,” says Peter Taylor, Administrator of The Mercury Durban Theatre Awards. “He had a vast experience of productions both nationally and internationally and his contribution to the awards system was considerable. He will be sorely missed by the rest of the panel and the theatre community as a true friend and fantastic advocate of theatre. We are all very saddened by his passing and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Maurice Kort was a member of the Live Wires team which helped distribute information and reviews of theatre productions and was also a member of the Festival Wires team which does the same thing for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Both these projects are the brainchild of Durban theatre personality and artSMart editor, Caroline Smart.

“I am so sad to hear of Maurice’s passing,” says Caroline Smart, “but he was so seriously ill that his death must be looked upon as a release from his suffering. I don’t know what I’m going to do without him. He was invaluable to me in keeping the artSMart website up to date with reviews on productions as it is almost impossible for me to see everything on opening night. Maurice was always there for me and he had the same kind of work ethic as I have – insisting on getting the review out as quickly as possible so that it could be widely distributed. So come 2 o’clock in the morning, there would be Maurice’s review ready to be loaded to the website. Maurice, I’m going to miss you so dreadfully. Be at peace.”

The funeral will take place at Red Hill Cemetery in Durban today (November 3) at 14h00.