Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards 2012

Posted: March 22, 2012 in Theatre & Event Reviews and Interviews

Gone was the giant table groaning under mountains of pancakes, exotically coloured ice-cream, whipped cream, hot chocolate, giant glass bowls of smarties and jelly tots, éclairs and fistfuls of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

This year’s Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards was a greatly toned down affair.  If I have to write about the recession again I will be sick for sure. But what the annual Fleur du Caps lost in splurge budget to keep the theatre whores happy, they certainly made up by refocusing the energy and awards money to a great new range of awards offered.  Good job I say.

47th annual Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards was held at the Baxter Theatre on 18 May. The new categories added include puppetry, costume/mask design, set design, lighting design and sound design/original composition.  Image

Personal highlights:  FTHK, by Deaf and Hearing integrated theatre company won the award for innovation in theatre. This is one hot theatre company that simply barge through obstacles and tease and titillate their audiences with their smorgasbord of eclectic but still accessible theatre.  Gumbo, Pictures of You and Wombtide are all legendary pieces of theatre conjured up by this team.

Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey by The Mechanicals, another one of those balls-to-the-wall theatre companies, received three awards including People’s Choice award, Best Lead Actor in a play and Best Director. Did you miss this piece of brilliant theatre? Well sorry for you. Maybe it will come back just for the laatslapers.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was gracefully received by teacher and theatre practitioner Christopher Weare. What an incredibly generous being. The lives he has changed for the better.

Best speech of the night. Well actually most of them were truly heartfelt this year. And funny, and at times upstaged the experienced MC Alan Committie, who by the way was eyeball popping hilarious and super quick of the mark with his funny retorts. Saul Radomsky received the award for Best Set and/or Props Design for his great work in The Bird Watchers. Oh how he made us laugh when he said that the did not write his speech down and he really hope he doesn’t fuck it up. And a few more expletives followed. This elderly, comely looking gent with a filthy mouth. Precious.

Donvino Prins and his band made the music afterwards.   I loved the beautifully understated performance by Garage, who performed in wheel barrels, and out.  I did not like the way that Garage, who were all coloured or black, would take the submissive position to hold out their hands with the award envelopes in it to be collected by the MC’s. No I am not being supersensitive, it felt off, and it made me cringe especially since every award winner apart from David Dennis was white.

Which brings me to Lara Foot’s passionate speech on the evening which questioned why after all these years, the entire audience and 99% of the winners are still white.  Every year somebody mentions this and here we find ourselves again.  I have seen the most incredible work during 2011 by black and coloured performers. Not a lot at all. Because there just are not that much on offer, but he ones I saw were spectacular and so unique in what they offer. We are shooting ourselves in the foot, big time, by not doing everything in our power to broaden this platform to be more inclusive and to include new voices.  The magic they have to offer may otherwise never be seen and we will all be poorer for that. Image

I loved the shorter awards ceremony and the lovely Fleur du Cap wines afterward. The winners of 2012 Fleuries are all passionate and well-deserving winners and Distell must be applauded for their generosity. Each winner receives R15 000 in prize money as well as a medal. But it is also about having won an award because then the international and local press sit up and take notice, which in turn can create greater sponsorship and bigger audiences.

Astrid Stark

The full list of winners is as follows:

1.    Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Carel Nel in Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey as Lafras Verwey

2.    Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Wilna Snyman in Klaasvakie as Albertine

3.    Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Play
David Dennis in The Tragedy of Richard III as Edward IV and others

4.    Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Play
Nicole Holm in Klaasvakie  as Die Verpleegster

5.    Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical/Musical Theatre
Jonathan Roxmouth in Phantom of the Opera as Phantom

6.    Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical/Musical Theatre
Robin Botha in The Phantom of the Opera as Christine

7.    Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Musical/Musical Theatre
Jonathan Roxmouth in Jesus Christ Superstar as Judas Iscariot

8.    Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical/Musical Theatre
Angela Kilian in Phantom of the Opera as Madame Giry

9.    Best Performance in a Cabaret/Revue/Solo Performance
Nicola Hanekom for her solo performance in Hol

10.  Most Promising Student
Janene (Nini) Conradie & University of Stellenbosch

11.  Best Director
Albert Maritz for Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey

12.  Best Lighting Design
Mannie Manim for Solomon & Marion

13.  Best Set and/or Props Design
Saul Radomsky for  set design in The Bird Watchers

14.  Best Costume and/or Mask Design
Marcel Meyer for costume design in The Tragedy of Richard III

15.  Best Sound Design and/or Original Score
James Webb for sound design in The Bird Watchers

16.  Best Puppetry Design
Janni Younge for Ouroboros

17.  Best New South African Play
Solomon & Marion  by Lara Foot

18.  Award for Innovation in Theatre
FTH:K (from the hip: khulumakhale)

19.  Lifetime Achievement Award
Christopher Weare

20.  People’s Choice Award – Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey

  1. Diane Wilson says:

    We get back to the row that Mary Renault had with Nadine Gordimer over entry to the International Pen club. Nadine Gordimer wanted special entry rules if you were black or coloured. Mary Renault found this unforgivably patronising and so do I.Would you like to know that you won an award or an entry to something simply because of the colour of your skin? A sort of pity ; believing that you couldn’t win anything on your own merit so rules must be bent for you? A disgusting attitude.
    As a matter of interest, if David Dennis can be one of the best actors in the country and he IS, I think that if he thought the award was bent his way because one had to have a quota, he would sling the award straight back at you, which he should.Ever occured to Lara Foot that some people whether black, white or pink might not attend the awards because they find them a big yawn?


  2. Diane Wilson says:

    This is the same row that Nadine Gordimer and Mary Renault had over entry to International Pen. I agree with Mary Renault that it is unbearably patronising and insulting to suggest that black writers, actors,singers performers should be given different criteria in judging their work. as in “Do we have enough people of colour that are winners this year?” How DARE Lara Foot insult our brilliant non-white performers and writers in this way? Patronising, hypocritical woman.
    Had it occured to her that maybe there are many white, yellow, black,brown and pink artists who don’t ENJOY coming to these back-slapping events? Maybe THAT’S why they don’t attend?


  3. Oh, dear; is Diane Wilson talking to herself again?


  4. diane wilson says:

    I repeated myself Adrian because I kept getting deleted. Judging from the many comments on this subject, you will see that I am not talikg into a void at all.


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