John van de Ruit is an actor, playwright and author who was been educated at Michaelhouse and received a Master’s degree in Drama and Performance studies from The University of KwaZulu – Natal. His highly successful stage shows of Green Mamba and Black Mamba (in collaboration with Ben Voss) performed to sell-out audiences aroundSouth Africa as well as receiving numerous awards.
His debut novel, Spud, has been a publishing phenomenon in South Africa, smashing all local publishing records and was awarded the Bookseller’s choice award in 2006. Following Spud’s release in September 2005, Spud – the Madness Continues (April 2007) has been hot on its heals, also receiving rave reviews and both books have since been published in The USA and UK as well as being translated into Italian (Patata) Russian (Manek) and Portuguese (Cotoco).
The penultimate book in the side-splitting series, Spud – Learning to Fly was released in June 2009. This novel received the Bookseller’s choice award 2010. The last book in the series, Spud – Exit Pursued by a Bear was released in South Africa in August 2012. Spud has crept into the hearts of readers across the world and was recently placed 11th on Exclusive Book’s 101 books to read before you die. John has just received the SapNet/Nielsen Gold Book Award for the bestselling SA author of the last decade.
A feature film of John’s first novel, Spud, was released in Southern Africa in December 2010 staring John Cleese as the eccentric Guv and Troye Sivan in the title role. The movie debuted at number one at the South African box office and is now being distributed internationally. Also available in December 2010 was The Making of Spud the Movie and How a Wickedly Splendid Plan Came Together written in conjunction with the film’s producer, Ross Garland. The film version of The Madness Continues released in South Africa in 2013. A film based on Learning to Fly has recently finished shooting and will be on screens nationwide in December 2014.
2013 saw John return to the stage with Ben Voss and Aaron McIlroy in The Rise of…The Insanity League.