Cape Town – It was an evening of glitz, glamour, bubbly and “bravos”, as the cream of South Africa’s theatre talent gathered for the 52nd Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards.
Held on a balmy Cape Town evening at the Artscape Theatre complex, the evening was filled with all the excitement, style and celebration that one would
expect from such an occasion.
From the moment the guests took to the red carpet , the scene, or should one rather say “stage", was set for an event that, even after 52 years, is celebrated and respected by the industry to which it pays tribute .
For the ladies, black and red were the dominant colours of the evening, with other tones certainly not being overshadowed. For the gents, a delightful mix of the traditional evening suit, to chic, colourful and modern ensembles, carried with aplomb by many. In all, a blend of the normal, moving towards cutting edge and, every here and there, a display of delightful eccentricity – much like the guests themselves!
With the completion of all the oohs and aaahs and “hello darlings", suitably accompanied by a selection of tempting canapés and the fruit of the grape, it was time to get down to the serious business of the evening.
But, being theatre awards, this was thankfully not destined to be a procession of long introductions and uncomfortable thank you speeches. Slick live performances kicked off the extravaganza and maintained a level of top entertainment, which book-ended perfectly the listing of the nominees and awarding of the winners in each category.
Much like the evening’s fashions, the diverse group of winners was also a blend of the establishment and the more cutting edge.
There was Andrew Buckland – winner of Best Performance by a lead actor – acknowledging that although not the first award of his illustrious career, the recognition adds to his motivation to remain acting “until he dies".
On the other end of the scale, there was Marlo Minnaar, a recently emerging talent, walking away with best performance in Revue, Cabaret or One-Person Show, ahead of such theatre stalwarts as Pieter-Dirk Uys.
And speaking of that particular theatre icon, Uys was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
So, slickly and smoothly, the evening progressed. There was, not unexpectedly, David Kramer on the winners' podium and then, perhaps a little unexpectedly, funny man Rob van Vuuren walking away with Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Play for his role in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House – certainly not a piece recognised for its laughs . As he mentioned after receiving the award , as an actor one covers a myriad of styles and roles and as such , for a performer who the public may see as having only one performance style , recognition in the drama category was especially rewarding.
There was an especially heart-warming response to the presenting of the special Encore Awards to a group of exciting emerging performers, whose energy and passion were there for all to see, and who bode well for the future of theatre in South Africa.
Exactly two hours and fifteen minutes after the curtain went up, it was time for hosts, Africa Melane and Cathy Specific to call an end to the proceedings but certainly not the festivities. For it was time to eat, drink and be merry as the nominees, winners and guests moved to the reception area for a chance to congratulate, commiserate and celebrate.
Another year, another extremely memorable night at the 52nd Fleur du Cap.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEAD ACTOR IN A PLAY: Andrew Buckland for The Inconvenience of Wings as Paul
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEAD ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Jennifer Steyn for The Inconvenience of Wings as Sara
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Rob van Vuuren for A Doll’s House as Nils Krogstad
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Anthea Thompson for A Doll’s House as Mrs Kristine Linde
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A REVUE, CABARET OR ONE-PERSON SHOW: Marlo Minnaar for Santa Gamka as Luck Marais
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL OR MUSIC THEATRE SHOW: Paul du Toit for Hedwig and the Angry Inch as Hedwig
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL OR MUSIC THEATRE SHOW: Genna Galloway for Hedwig and the Angry Inch as Yitzhak
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL OR MUSIC THEATRE SHOW: Jonathan Roxmouth for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as Pharaoh
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL OR MUSIC THEATRE SHOW: Taryn Sudding for Annie as Grace
BEST DIRECTOR: Lara Foot for The Inconvenience of Wings
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: Faheem Bardien for Ityala Lamawele
BEST SET DESIGN: Saul Radomsky for Clybourne Park
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Niall Griffin for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
BEST SOUNDSCAPE, ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSITION OR ORIGINAL SCORE: David Kramer for District Six Kanala – Original Music Composition and Original Score
BEST NEW SOUTH AFRICAN SCRIPT: Mongiwekhaya for I See You
BEST NEW DIRECTOR: Mbongeni Mtshali
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Pieter-Dirk Uys.