Henrietta Gryffenberg – Speaker MC

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Henrietta Gryffenberg - Actress Speaker MC
Henrietta Gryffenberg - Actress Speaker MC

Henrietta Gryffenberg – Speaker MC matriculated from Hoerskool Randburg in 1981 with four distinctions of which two were for languages. A TED scholarship enabled her to study Drama at the University of Pretoria. Henrietta is now available through Speakers Inc.

In 1983, Henrietta received the Don Lampbrecht Bursary for the ‘Most Promising Drama Student‘ and after graduating in 1984, she completed her teaching diploma and she started to teach Afrikaans in 1986 at Dawnview High School.

During September 1986, she changed careers when she succeeded in getting work as a news production secretary on Good Morning South Africa (SABC). She resigned from the SABC in 1989 to freelance as an actress and during this time, she performed in numerous PACT productions and school tours, she did voice work for the radio as well as TV dubbing.

Henrietta Gryffenberg – Speaker MC wrote her first stage play, ‘Dis Nie My Bybie Nie’ which debuted at the Windybrow Theatre. Her play was chosen as the pick of the fringe at the Grahamstown Festival. At this point, acting was her passion and she pursued a career as an actress.

She has appeared in various TV productions such as the popular ‘Sonkring 1 & 2’ drama series, ‘The Game’, ‘Wenners’, ‘Africa PI’, ‘Samaritaan’, ‘Viva’, ‘Suburban Bliss’ (comedy), ‘Dot & Kie’ (comedy), ‘Kululeka’, ‘Zero Tolerance’, ‘Justice for All’, ‘Mohlolo’, ‘Dit wat stom is’ and the ‘Mohlolo Christmas Special’.

She has also done guest appearances in story arcs for soapies such as ‘Isidingo’, ‘7deLaan’ and ‘Egoli’. Henrietta’s most recent work has included being a lead in the comedy series, ‘Thysnywerheid’.

Her major stage productions have included ‘Dis Nie My Bybie Nie’, ‘Taraboemdery’, ‘Aljander-Aljander’, ‘Antjie Sommers & I’ , ‘Keely & Du’, ‘The Parrot Woman’, ‘Briewe aan ‘n Rooi dak’, ‘Desnieteenstaande’ and ‘Swartskaap’.

She was nominated as ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for her portrayal in ‘Antjie Sommers and I’ and as ‘Best Actress’ in ‘‘Taraboemdery’.

In 2005, Henrietta Gryffenberg – Speaker MC received a KANNA Award at the KKNK Festival for her portrayal of the dumb and over-sexed sister in the award-winning cabaret, ‘Swartskaap’. She also performed in in the stage production, ‘Pols’ under the direction of Christine Truter that same year.

Thereafter, she performed in stage comedies such as ‘Desnieteenstaande’ (Jean Goosen) and ‘So beredder Sophia Mentz dan haar eie boedel’ (PG du Plessis).

Her film career comprises mostly of cameo parts played in movies such as: ‘Short and Sweet’ (Leon Schuster), ‘Die Prins van Pretoria’ (Frans Marx), ‘Salvation’ (Minky Shlezinger), ‘Orkney Snorkney – Die Moevie’ (Willie Esterhuizen) and ‘Karate Kallie’ (2008.

Despite her extensive acting experience, she has also done major presenting work for TV stations such as MNET, where she was a continuity presenter for fifteen years. Futhermore, she hosted programs such as the Afrikaans variety program, ‘Skotteljons’ which she co-produced with Bobby Heaney Productions for kykNET and which was conceptualised by Bruce Townsend and herself.

Henrietta hosted this program solo and she did comedy sketches with well-known South African comedian, Casper de Vries. Other programs she has conceptualised and co-hosted include the live phone in chat program, ‘Mamma, Ek wil ‘n Man he’ with Chris Vorster. Both of these programs were commissioned by kykNET. She resigned from MNET in October 2002 to focus on her writing career.

In 1999, she started as a dialogue writer for the Afrikaans soap, ‘7deLaan’. During this time, she was commissioned to write a 45-minute drama entitled, ‘Ke Gobetsi’ for SABC 2. During this time, she was also awarded a script grant by the NAC for writing the Afrikaans stage drama entitled ‘Die Verlore Gebod’.

From October 2011, she assisted the head writer for ‘Generations’; her duties included story lining, rewriting scripts or scenes of sub-standard quality as well as sourcing and training new writers.

She re-joined the ‘7deLaan’ writing team in August 2002 until January 2004. In 2004, she penned the satirical political cabaret, ‘Swartskaap’ which won the Aardklop Anglogold Smeltkroes prize for ‘Best New Script’ as well as a KANNA Award at the 2005 KKNK Arts Festival. ‘Swartskaap’ was also recorded in 2005 for SABC 2.

Henrietta’s other television and stage writing projects include:

  • (2000 – 2002/2004 – 2006) The drama series, Erfsondes and the parliament series, ’90 Plein Street‘ (2007 – 2008).
  • Comedy scripts for ‘Fishy Feshuns’ (3rd season – 2004), ‘Gabriel’ (SABC 2 – 2005), ‘Dinner with the President’ (SABC – 2007), ‘Radically Rasdien’ (SABC – 2010), ‘Jabba Time’ (2010).
  • She was the assistant to the head writer for ‘Generations’ (2003-2004).
  • Writer of the stage drama, ‘Die Verlore Gebod’ (2003 – NAC grant), ‘Dies Nie my Bybie Nie’ (1988 – voted pick of the Grahamstown Festival). ‘Daar’s a Kind in my Kop’ (1990) and the award-winning political cabaret, ‘Swartskop’.
  • Hotel Hel’ was commissioned by the Aardklop Festival in 2009 where it performed for full houses.

Her more recent work includes writing for the comedy series, ‘Jabba Time’ (Rous House), the drama mini-series, ‘n Duisend Engele’ (Ochre) and the ‘tween’ drama series for Thomas@ for kykNET as well as Highrollers for SABC 3.

Henrietta Gryffenberg – Speaker MC

In May of 2014, she directed and scripted the ATKV-Mediaveertjies Awards ceremony.

Currently, Henrietta is the head writer on the drama series, ‘Ons Stories’ for kykNET and KIE. Her film scripting work includes Racheltjie de Beer (Editor), Bruid van die Jaar (Editor); she is also currently co-writing on the upcoming Bram Fischer movie and her western, ‘The Last Bullet’ is in the script development phase.

She is an experienced MC and presenter with a professional and warm approach for any function.

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