Home » Arts & Culture » Naledi Awards Nominees Announced

Nominations for the 2015 Naledi Theatre Awards were announced in Johannesburg with Aubrey Sekhabi’s production of Marikana – The Musical coming out tops with 13 nominations. It created enormous interest because of its controversial subject matter and the manner in which it was depicted.

It received nominations for Best Musical, Best New South African Script (adapted by Aubrey Sekhabi), Best Director (Aubrey Sekhabi), Best Theatre Design (Wilhelm Disbergen), Best Costume Design (Irene Moheedi Mathe), Best Sound Design (Richard Mitchell), Best Choreography (Thabo Rapoo), Best ScoreArrangementAdaptation (Mpho “McKenzie” Matome), Best Musical Director (Mpho “McKenzie” Matome), Best Performance in a Musical: Female (Emma Mmekwa), Best Performance in a Musical: Male (Meshach Mavuso and Aubrey Poo), Best Supporting Actress (Siyasanga Catherine Papu) and Best Production of a Musical.

A Naledi regular, Wilhelm Disbergen, received five nominations in the field of Best Theatre Design and Best Lighting Design, while flamboyant singer and composer Natanieumll received three nominations for Best ScoreArrangementAdaptation, Best Performance in a Musical: Male and Best Musical Director.

The Rocky Horror Show was also a wildly popular musical, with a massive cult following, and it received seven nominations. They were for Best Production of a Musical (Matthew Wild), Best Performance in a Musical : Male (Brendan van Rhyn), Best Musical Director (Charl Johan Langenfelder), Best Sound Design (Aki Khan), Best Costume Design (Penny Simpson), Best Theatre Design (Tina Driedijk and Anwar McWhite) and Best Choreography (Louisa Talbot).

Athol Fugard’s The Shadow of the Hummingbird received five nominations, including Best New South African Script and Best Production of a Play.

Theatre stalwarts, Athol Fugard (The Shadow of the Hummingbird) and John Kani (Missing), were also recognised for their contributions with nominations for Best Male Performance in a Play.

They will compete against several other notable names that include Michael Richard and Seputla Sebogade.

Now in its 11th year, the Naledi Theatre Awards reflect the vibrant and diverse nature of the South African theatrical landscape that exists today and are the premiegravere awards for theatre excellence in South Africa.

Executive director Dawn Lindberg said: “We are truly inspired by the quality and diversity of the productions that were presented in 2014, and our panel of judges had a difficult task selecting the nominees because of the intense competition among arts practitioners on all levels.

There have been some amazing productions among the home-grown product, plus we were fortunate to see WarHorse, with the famous puppets created by our own Handspring Puppet Company, on our shores.”

The arrival of the epic play, WarHorse, caused great excitement in theatrical circles.

The gigantic horse puppet, known as Joey, and operated by a team of talented puppeteers, was created by South Africa’s own Handspring Puppet Theatre. It has a life of its own and audiences world-wide have connected with Joey’s emotional journey through the horrors of World War 1.

It was an impressive, and emotive, performance and Naledi felt the need to recognise this achievement. WarHorse, its puppeteers, and its South African producers, Pieter Toerien and RMB, will be recognised and honoured in a special way.

Arts Angel, Carolyn Steyn, said: “It is a privilege to be on the panel of judges for the fourth year. To all of us on the panel, every nominee is a winner! The Naledi’s also give us an opportunity to see the best of the best in our theatre industry. I for one just can’t wait!”

On the children’s theatre front, Naledi is excited to be partnering with ASSITEJ SA in the newly re-named category: “Best Production for Young Audiences”.

This category has a dedicated team of judges who now see a much broader selection of theatre for young audiences.

Two Showcases are held at the Soweto Theatre at which judges can view a full day’s productions in one venue.

The Naledi Theatre Award judges for 2014, the year under review, were Dorianne Alexander, Alex Burger, Peter Feldman, Helen Heldenmuth, Ferosa Marais, Lance Maron, Mandla Motau, Lakin Morgan-Baatjies, Welcome Msomi, Rudi Sadler, Renos Spanoudes and Carolyn Steyn. The group, which has been drawn from all spheres of the theatre world, viewed more than 60 productions during the year.

Twenty-five awards will be handed out at the gala ceremony on April 14 at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, each carrying a trophy made of crystal and a cash cheque.

One of the highlights is the Lifetime achievement award presented to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the arts. – Sowetan.

Source : The Herald

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