The winners of the Naledi Theatre Awards were announced on 19 April at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City.
For the first time in the awards’ 12-year history, one actress won the Best Lead Performance in a Play (Female) for two different plays.
Fiona Ramsay received her award for her roles in Miss Dietrich Regrets and Doubt. Her co-star in Doubt, Janna Ramos-Violante, won the Best Supporting Actress award.
Moagi Modise’s Lepatata won in the Best Ensemble category, making South African theatrical history as the first Setswana play to win a major theatre award. The play was directed by Makhaola Ndebele.
The Lesedi Spirit of Courage Award went to Gaynor Young, who was seriously injured during a production of Camelot at the SA State Theatre in 1989.
Top honours this year, including Best Production of a Play, went to Lara Foot’s magnificent staging of Fishers Of Hope (four awards). The dark musical Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street won three awards, and Nataniël’s innovative musical After Animals took home five awards. Janice Honeyman’s Sister Act garnered three awards, and Greg Homann’s thought-provoking Alan Paton drama, A Voice I Cannot Silence, also won three awards.
Ralph Lawson, who portrayed controversial author and poet Alan Paton in A Voice I Cannot Silence, took the top acting accolade for Best Lead Performance in a Play (Male). Menzi Mkhwane won The Brett Goldin Award for Best Newcomer/Breakthrough for the same production. Homann and Lawson also won the award for Best New SA Script.
Fishers of Hope also provided other winners; Phillip Tipo Tindisa (Best Supporting Actor), Patrick Curtis (Best Set Design) and Grant van Ster (Best Original Choreography).
Khayelihle Dominique Gumede was named Best Director of a Play for his vivid interpretation of Crepuscule, about love across the colour line.
Jonathan Roxmouth won Best Performance in a Musical award for his role in Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Director Steven Stead was voted Best Director of a Musical/Revue for this production, which also received The Joan Brickhill Award for Best Production of a Musical, Sponsored by Carolyn Steyn.
Nataniël’s After Animals won for Best Lighting Design (Kevin Stannet), Best Sound Design (Larry Pullen), Best AV/Animation (JanHendrik Burger), and Best Score/ Arrangement/ Adaptation, while the award for Best Costume Designer went to Floris Louw.
Sister Act’s Candida Mosoma won Best Performance in a Musical, while Rowan Bakker won Best Musical Director. Phumi Mncayi was named Best Support/Featured Performance for her part in Sister Act.
Johnny Boskak Is Feeling Funny received the Best Production: Cutting Edge nod for writer and co-director Craig Morris.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Taliep Petersen (posthumously) and to Alvon Collison, while the World Impact Award went to Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Thembi Mtshali was given the Executive Director’s Award.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Janna Ramos-Violante, Doubt
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Phillip Tipo Tindisa, Fishers of Hope
BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN (Supported by Assitej SA) (0 – 12): Shrek, The Musical. JR. Prod. by People’s Theatre. Based on book by William Steig, Dir. by Jill Girard & Keith Smith.
BEST PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES (Supported by Assitej SA) (13 – 17) Making Mandela, Prod. by KBT Productions & Hello Elephant in ass. with the SA State Theatre & Daphne Kuhn for the A&G Theatre on the Square. Written & Dir. by Nick Warren & Jenine Collocott.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A CHILDRENS’ THEATRE PRODUCTION: Gamelihle Bovana, James and The Giant Peach BEST NEWCOMER/BREAKTHROUGH (The Brett Goldin Award) Sponsored by Distell: Menzi Mkhwane, A Voice I Cannot Silence
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Floris Louw, After Animals
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN (Sponsored by Robe Lighting): Kevin Stannet, After Animals
BEST AV / ANIMATION: JanHendrik Burger, After Animals
BEST SET DESIGN (Sponsored by Dreamsets): Patrick Curtis, Fishers of Hope
BEST SOUND DESIGN (Sponsored by DWR Distribution): Larry Pullen, After Animals
BEST SCORE / ARRANGEMENT / ADAPTATION: Nataniël, After Animals
BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Rowan Bakker, Sister Act
BEST PRODUCTION: CUTTING EDGE: Johnny Boskak Is Feeling Funny, Written by Greig Coetzee, Co-Dir. by Roslyn Wood-Morris & Craig Morris.
BEST ENSEMBLE: Lepatata, Prod. by Market Theatre & Windybrow Theatre. Written by Moagi Modise, Dir. by Makhaola Ndebele.
BEST ORGINAL CHOREOGRAPHY: Grant van Ster, Fishers of Hope
BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL / REVUE: Steven Stead, Sweeney Todd
BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY: Khayelihle Dom Gumede, Crepuscule
BEST SUPPORT/FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL: Phumi Mncayi, Sister Act
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL (FEMALE): Candida Mosoma, Sister Act
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL (MALE): Jonathan Roxmouth, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY (FEMALE): Fiona Ramsay, Miss Dietrich Regrets; Fiona Ramsay, Doubt
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY (MALE): Ralph Lawson, A Voice I Cannot Silence
BEST NEW SA SCRIPT: A Voice I Cannot Silence. Prod. by Arts Trust of SA (ATSA). Written by Greg Homann & Ralph Lawson, Dir. by Greg Homann.
BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY: Fishers of Hope, Prod. by the Baxter Theatre Centre & Mopo Productions in ass. with the SA State Theatre. Written & Dir. by Lara Foot.
BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL (THE JOAN BRICKHILL AWARD): Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Prod. by Pieter Toerien & Kickstart by arr. with DALRO (Pty) Ltd. Written by Hugh Wheeler, Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Dir. by Steven Stead.
LESEDI SPIRIT OF COURAGE AWARD: Gaynor Young
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S AWARD: Thembi Mtshali
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Taliep Petersen (Posthumous)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Alvon Collison
WORLD IMPACT AWARD: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
THE SOPHIE MCINGA EMERGING VOICE AWARD (SPONSORED BY THE MARKET THEATRE 40TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY): Thandazile Sonia Radebe.