Mother of all awards

20 March 2014 - 02:01 By Andile Ndlovu
'Mies Julie' at the Market
'Mies Julie' at the Market
Image: Travel Weekly

Awards season has come and gone on the local theatre scene with both the 11th Naledi Theatre Awards and the 49th annual Fleur du Caps staged in the past five days.

The Mercury Durban Theatre Awards take place later in the year.

The Naledis (in which there are 25 categories) honoured productions including Mies Julie, Jersey Boys, Hayani, and Sunset Boulevard. The Fleur du Caps (20 categories) feted productions including The Rocky Horror Show, Rooiland and The Miser.

The founder of the Naledi awards, Dawn Lindberg, said negotiations to merge them with the Fleur du Caps were continuing.

Lindberg said she was encouraged by the attendance of Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile at the Naledi Awards ceremony and hoped his department would support the idea of a national Naledi Awards.

But would such a development kill off smaller productions, or promote further competition between theatres and the productions?

Lindberg said: "Neither. We envisage that each provincial awards event will be autonomous, but preferably under the banner of Naledi, which is already a national brand respected by the industry.

"Smaller productions are never ignored - they are encouraged. However, nearly all the best productions do come to Johannesburg from Durban and Cape Town and that is why our awards are already national."

Thoko Ntshinga, who won the best supporting actress award at last year's Fleur du Caps for her role of Christine in Yaël Farber's Mies Julie , said she was not against an "umbrella" national awards show but there was a good case for more attention to be paid to community theatre.

"So many great projects from the community theatre scene are left out. Who would feature in these national theatre awards? I feel it would still be for the select few.

"If there were the money, it would be great to have theatre awards that look at different genres. Such awards would highlight how much talent is out there."