Biography and CV

Born in Benoni, South Africa, 10 July 1928.

Educated at Benoni High, the University of the Witwatersrand (B. Com) and UNISA (Accountancy).

In 1954, founded Show Service in Johannesburg, the first centralized ticket-booking agency in South Africa.

In 1956, as the active managing director of Show Service, he was closely involved in the running of the Johannesburg Festival, commemorating the 70th birthday of the ‘City of Gold’ and the largest cultural event ever held in South Africa to that date.

Beginning with the Johannesburg Festival in 1956, became active as an impresario/producer involved in bringing to South Africa internationally esteemed performing artists such as opera singers Richard Tucker, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Victoria de los Angeles, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as well as many popular entertainers.

In 1959 he was part of the production team that brought the first all-black South African musical to the stage, King Kong, directed by Leon Gluckman, which co-starred legend-to-be Miriam Makeba, which played to multi-racial audiences in South Africa for two years before opening in London’s West End in 1961.

In 1969 Percy Tucker began pioneering the concept of computerized reservations and sales, not only across all forms of the entertainment industry, but for sporting events and hotel bookings.

In 1971, Show Service gave way to Computicket, the first successful comprehensive computerised booking system in the world, of which he was the founder and managing director until his retirement in 1994.

Between 1978 and 1980, negotiations were successfully concluded and the Computicket concept was sold to the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, but all these operations were suspended as a result of the international boycott of South Africa in protest against the apartheid government.

An executive member of the Theatre Managements of South Africa (1956-2003), in 1978 as one of a three-man committee lobbying the Nationalist government on behalf of the arts, he was instrumental in successfully negotiating (12 years prior to abolition of apartheid) the de-segregation of theatre audiences and actors in all South African Theatres,

From 1995 to the present, Percy Tucker has served as a member of numerous committees and boards concerned with the funding, management, development and honouring of the live arts in South Africa.