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    58th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards winners announced

    It was a glittering affair at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch on Sunday, 26 March, when the winners of the 58th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards were announced. The event was one of many celebrating World Theatre Day globally on 27 March.
    Image supplied
    Image supplied

    The most decorated production of the night was Contested Bodies, produced by Abrahamse and Meyer Productions, a company which received 16 nominations. It garnered awards for Best Director - Fred Abrahamse, Best Costume Design - Marcel Meyer and the cast of Matthew Baldwin, Lungile Lallie and Marcel Meyer were acknowledged for the Best Performance by an Ensemble.

    The award for the Best Performance by a Lead Actor was a bitter sweet moment as the late Mncedisi Shabangu was announced as the winner for his portrayal of Zacharia in Athol Fugard’s play Blood Knot. His name was one of the many who featured in the memorial section of the programme where artists who passed away during the year were remembered and mourned.

    Mwenya Kabwe won the award for the Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Play for her role as Rosa Feigel in Hold Still, which also earned acclaim as the Best New South African script for writer, Nadia Davids.

    JM Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K, adapted for the stage by Lara Foot, a joint production between the Baxter Theatre, Theater der Welt in Düsseldorf and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg took home the coveted Best Production Award.

    The Mozart opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, made a clean sweep with Conroy Scott and Brittany Smith garnering the awards for the Best Performances in the Male and Female categories in an Opera, respectively. Mikayla Joy Brown of Stellenbosch University won the Most Promising Student Award. Richly deserved as her production debuts on the festival circuit later this year.

    David Kramer and Peter Cazalet received Lifetime Achievement Awards. Kramer was honoured for his immeasurable contribution to the arts and entertainment industry as a national and internationally renowned artist, singer, songwriter, guitarist, creator and producer of iconic musical theatre production and an archivist of South African music and stories.

    Peter Cazalet was acknowledged for his vast contribution to the national and international arts and entertainment industry, initially as a ballet dancer and subsequently as an award-winning set and costume designer and Capab’s head of design. His enduring and captivating stage designs set a high standard and are still admired and used in current productions, most recently in Cinderella.

    Empatheatre, a research-based, theatre-making methodology earned co-directors Neil Coppen, Dr Dylan McGarry and Mpume Mthombeni the Innovation in Theatre Award. Their ability to build connections between people and places and through their practice of public storytelling and listening is unsurpassed. They have impacted individuals on a profoundly personal level, communities on a practical level and the general public through their inputs at parliament and global conferences.

    The panel expressed their delight at the calibre of theatre on stages during the year. Last year (2022) was a difficult year for the sector as it emerged from the most devastating period in South Africa’s theatre history. The number of eligible productions, 71 in total, returned to pre-pandemic levels, demonstrating once again the resilience of our theatre makers.

    Cape Town and surrounds were gifted with performances which were frequently immersive, often bold, at times breath-taking and, when most needed, very funny, while always evoking an array of complex emotions from audiences.

    Winners of the 58th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards are:

    Award Most Promising Student Award

    Mikayla Joy Brown | University of Stellenbosch/Honours

    Best New South African Script

    Nadia Davids | Hold Still

    Best New Director

    Carlo Daniels | No Complaints - New Day, New Dawn

    Best Theatre Production for Children and Young People

    Marinda Engelbrecht and Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck | Vlooi en die geheim/Kipper and the Secret

    Best Performance by an Ensemble

    Marcel Meyer, Matthew Baldwin and Lungile Lallie | Contested Bodies | Doctor James Barry, Lord Charles Somerset and John Nobody

    Best Performance in a Revue, Cabaret or One-person Show

    Daniel Newton | Shadow Boxing | Flynn

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical of Theatre Show

    Earl Gregory | Star+Crossed | Billy

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical of Theatre Show

    Isabella Jane | Star+Crossed | Bess

    Best Puppetry Design

    Adrian Kohler | Handspring Puppet Company | Life and Times of Michael K

    Best Lighting Design

    Gideon Lombard | Karatara

    Best Set Design

    Greg King | Fordsburg’s Finest

    Best Costume Design

    Marcel Meyer | Contested Bodies

    Best Sound Design, Original Music, Soundscape od Live Performance

    Gideon Lombard | Karatara | Sound design

    Best Performance in an Opera - Male

    Conroy Scott | Le Nozze di Figaro | Figaro

    Best Performance in an Opera - Female

    Brittany Smith | Le Nozze di Figaro | Susanna

    Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Play

    Carlo Daniels | The Unlikely Secret Agent | Various roles

    Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Play

    Berenice Barbier | Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf | Honey

    Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Play

    Mwenya Kabwe | Hold Still | Rosa Feigel

    Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Play

    Mncedisi Shabangu | Blood Knot | Zacharia

    Best Director

    Fred Abrahamse | Contested Bodies

    Best Production

    Baxter Theatre Centre; Theater der Welt, Düsseldorf; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg | Life and Times of Michael K

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