'Mies Juli' walks away big winner at Naledi awards

Carolyn Steyn, life-time achievement award winners Mbongeni Ngema and Fatima Dike with Arts Minister Paul Mashatile. (Supplied)

Carolyn Steyn, life-time achievement award winners Mbongeni Ngema and Fatima Dike with Arts Minister Paul Mashatile. (Supplied)

Theatre greats gathered on Monday for the 11th annual Naledi Theatre Awards. The ceremony, which was for productions staged during 2013, took place at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.

Mies Juli walked away the big winner for the night as Bongile Mantsai won the best male actor in a leading role award, best director award went to Yael Farber and it won for best production.

Jersey Boys, which was produced by Showtime Management, won best production of a musical, with Grant Almirall? winning best performance in a musical, while Bryan Schimmel and Rowan Bakker jointly won best musical director.

The executive director's award was presented to Lizz Meiring for her work in raising awareness about abuse against women with her original play My Name/Naam is Ellen Pakkies.

Meiring announced she has obtained funding to make a film of the play, which she wrote and directed. She said a percentage of all proceeds from the movie would go to Ellen Pakkies, who still resides in Cape Town.
Pakkies made headlines after she killed her tik-addicted son, Adam, in 2007. 

Naledi Theatre Awards chairperson Dali Tambo presented the lifetime achievement award to Mbongeni Ngema for his vast body of international work such as Sarafina and, more recently, The Zulu, about the history of the Zulu nation. Fatima Dike received the award for the work she has done to mentor and nurture young black writers in the Western Cape.

Executive director Dawn Lindberg announced three new developments for Naledi: "We have partnered with the Market Theatre to create a new award: best emerging voice, named after the late Sophie Mgcina. This award is administered by the Market Theatre under the guidance of artistic director James Ngcobo, and recognises a young individual who is making their mark either as a director, designer or maker of theatre. The inaugural best emerging voice award went to dancer and choreographer Lulu Mlangeni.

"We have also formed a partnership with Assitej SA, who will administer our best production for children category, now renamed best production for young audiences," said Lindberg.

"The partnership will expand this category to embrace the outstanding work being done by many new and exciting producers for our audiences and theatre practitioners of the future. This year it was awarded to the National Children's Theatre for The Secret Garden, directed by Francois Theron.

"Our third exciting partnership is with the Gauteng department of arts and culture, who will administer and expand on another very important aspect of our theatre industry, community theatre, through its initiative the Ishashalazi Awards.

"The recipient of this year's award for community theatre went to Nomzamo, which was directed by Gcebili Dlamini for the Hillbrow Theatre Project as part of the South African National Community Theatre Association Play Festival."

Full list of winners:

Best costumes
Penny Simpson: Sunset Boulevard

Best set
Denis Hutchinson - Sunset Boulevard

Best lighting
Denis Hutchinson - Sunset Boulevard

Best production for young audience
Secret Garden - National Childrens' Theatre

Best community theatre Ishashalazi award
Nomzamo - directed by Gcebili Dlamini for Hillbrow Theatre Project and SANCTA 23rd CT Festival

Best newcomer/breakthrough (Brett Goldin Award)
Khayalethu Anthony - Solomon and Marion

Best score/arr/adapt
Alistaire Izobell and David Kramer - Blood Brothers

Best musical director
Bryan Schimmel and Rowan Bakker - Jersey Boys

Best ensemble/cutting edge
Balbesit - written by Saartjie Botha and directed by Jaco Bouwer

Best supporting actress in a play/musical
Nondumiso TembeRace

Best supporting actor in a play/musical
Desmond DubeNongogo

Best director
Yael Farber - Mies Julie

Best performance in a musical (female)
Bianca la Grange - Blood Brothers

Best performance in a musical (male)
Grant Almirall? - Jersey Boys

Best performance in a play in a leading role (female)
Vinette Ebrahim - My Naam/Name is Ellen Pakkies

Best performance in a play in a leading role (male)
Bongile Mantsai - Mies Julie

Best new SA script
Hayani - written and directed by Atandwa Kani and Nat Ramabulana

Best production of a play
Mies Julie - written and directed by Yael Farber

Best production of a musical
Jersey Boys - produced by Showtime Management

Sophie Mgcina best new emerging voice award Market Theatre
Dancer and choreographer Lulu Mlangeni

Best executive director's award
Lizz Meiring

Lifetime achievement award
Fatima Dike and Mbongeni Ngema

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