Star turns: Hanlee Louw and Jonathan Roxmouth in Phantom of the Opera.
Star turns: Hanlee Louw and Jonathan Roxmouth in Phantom of the Opera.
Shifting posts: David Dennis, Fezile Mpela and Fiona Ramsay in Delirium.
Shifting posts: David Dennis, Fezile Mpela and Fiona Ramsay in Delirium.

It’s the 10th celebration of the Naledi Theatre Awards, this year supported by Auto & General. It’s a time to look back and reward the stunning work of artists and productions in 2012.

As always, it’s a gloriously mixed bunch this year, but a few productions like Sylvaine Strike’s brilliant The Miser, Nicola Hanekom’s stunning site-specific Trilogy, so bravely staged by the State Theatre, Paul Grootboom’s questioning Rhetorical, Neil Coppen’s edgy Abnormal Loads, Greg Homan’s boisterous Delirium, and Steven Stead’s thoughtful Red have stood out in many minds.

It’s also good to see smaller productions like Jenine Collocott’s surprising Sunday Morning and Gina Shmukler’s interrogating The Line take on the competition.

Keeping it in the family, father and son Michael Jeremy Richard have both been nominated, Richard sr as Best Actor and Jeremy for Supporting Actor for their performances in Red.

Another strong contender in the acting category is also a son from an acting dynasty – Atandwa Kani, who has been nominated as Supporting Actor in The Miser, as well as Best Newcomer/Breakthrough Performance in Rhetorical.

Local dramatic classics like The Suitcase and Boesman and Lena have also been good platforms for their casts, both receiving nominations, while Jonathan Roxmouth has proved his mettle as one of our strongest musical stars by competing against himself in the Musical category, with nominations for his performances in Phantom and Noel and Gertie.

It’s good to see visiting productions like Hanekom’s Trilogy, Stead’s Cabaret and Janice Honeyman’s The Blue Iris score high marks, because it will hopefully promote more touring by theatre companies, so that the good productions travel the country and benefit not only the artists, but also audiences.

Here is the full list:

Best Musical

The Phantom of the Opera (produced by Pieter Toerien and The Really Useful Group Limited); Jack and The Beanstalk (produced by BankservAfrica and Joburg Theatre, directed by Janice Honeyman); Cabaret (produced by Pieter Toerien and KickstArt Production, directed by Steven Stead); David Kramer and Taliep Petersen’s Kat and the Kings (produced by the Fugard Theatre, Eric Abraham and Renaye Kramer, directed by David Kramer); Dirty Dancing (produced by Pieter Toerien, Hazel Feldman, Karl Sydow and Joye Entertainment).

Best Play

Red, directed by Steven Stead; Rhetorical, directed by Paul Grootboom; Abnormal Loads, directed by Neil Coppen and Janna Ramos-Violante; The Line, directed by Gina Shmukler; Sunday Morning, directed by Jenine Collocott; The Miser, directed by Sylvaine Strike.

Best New South African Script

Abnormal Loads by Neil Coppen; The Line by Gina Shmukler; Sunday Morning by Nick Warren; The Blue Iris by Athol Fugard.

Best Actor

Siyabonga Thwala (The Suitcase); Elton Landrew (Boesman and Lena) Michael Richard (Red); Graham Weir (The Blue Iris) James Cuningham (Sunday Morning); Lionel Newton (The Miser).

Best Actress

Jenna Dunster (Abnormal Loads); Xolile Tshabalala (The Suitcase) Quanita Adams (Boesman and Lena) Khutjo Green (The Line); Lee-Ann van Rooi (The Blue Iris); Sandra Prinsloo (Janneman); Fiona Ramsay (Delirium).

Best Actor in a Musical

Jonathan Roxmouth (The Phantom of the Opera); Sascha Halbhuber (Cabaret); Bryan Hiles (Cabaret); Jonathan Roxmouth (Noel and Gertie); Zakariyah Toerien (Kat and the Kings).

Best Actress in a Musical

Hanlee Louw (The Phantom of the Opera); Samantha Peo (Cabaret); Bryony Whitfield (Dirty Dancing); Elizca Coetzer (Chef, Rattle and Roll); Mila de Biaggi (Dirty Dancing).

Best Director of a Play or Musical

Neil Coppen and Janna Ramos-Violante (Abnormal Loads); Steven Stead (Red); Nicola Hanekom (Trilogy: Lot/Betésda/Babbel); Jenine Collocott (Sunday Morning); Sylvaine Strike (The Miser); Paul Grootboom (Rhetorical).

Best Actor in a Supporting Role/Cameo

Peter Court (Cabaret); Jeremy Richard (Red); Stain Bam (Trilogy: Lot/Betésda/Babbel); Fezile Mpela (Delirium); Atandwa Kani (The Miser).

Best Actress in a Supporting Role/Cameo

Alison Cassels (Abnormal Loads); Adrienne Pearce (Mary and the Conqueror); Charon Williams-Ros (Cabaret); Fortune Dhlomo (Abnormal Loads); Patricia Boyer (The Miser).

Best Ensemble Production/ Cutting Edge

Delirium, directed by Greg Homann; Woza Albert, directed by Prince Lamla; Trilogy: Lot/Betésda/ Babbel, directed by Nicola Hanekom; The Miser, directed by Sylvaine Strike; From the Mouths of Babes, directed by Malcolm Purkey.

Best Musical Director/Score/ Arrangement

Gary Thomas (Score) (Abnormal Loads); Hugh Masekela (MD) (The Suitcase); Evan Roberts (MD) (Cabaret); Naami Gottlieb Liebermann assisted by Sharon Spiegel-Wagner and Sivan Raphaely (Arrangements) (From the Mouths of Babes); Louis Zurnamer (MD) Phantom of the Opera; Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (MD) (Dirty Dancing).

Best Original Choreography (Musical or Play)

Mongi Mtombeni (Little Foot); Janine Bennewith (Cabaret); Nicola Elliott (In the Wings); Shelley Adriaanzen (Chef, Rattle and Roll); Loukmaan Adams and Jody Abrahams (Kat and the Kings).

Best Newcomer/Breakthrough (Male/Female)

Dylan Horley (Somewhere on the Border); Atandwa Kani (Rhetorical); Danieyella Rodin (In the Wings); Amy Trout (Kat and the Kings); Karabo Oberem (Gingerbreadman 2); Motlatji Ditodi (The Miser).

Community Theatre

Unamarli directed by Albert Mabena; The Chosen One directed by Mxolisi Masilela; Sello Le Dipogiso; Black Child Productions directed by Thembeni Joni.

Best Production of Children Theatre

Gingerbreadman 2 (The People’s Theatre); Goggas! (National Children Theatre); Annie Jr (National Children theatre); Jungle Book Kids (The People’s Theatre).

Best Theatre Sound Design/Sound Effects

Jade Bowers (iHamlet); Chris Letcher (Little Foot); Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (The Line); Braam du Toit (Trilogy: Lot/Betésda/Babbel); Mark Malherbe (Delirium).

Best Theatre Lighting Design

Tina Le Roux (Abnormal Loads); Alistair Findlay (Sunday Morning); Denis Hutchinson (Delirium); Wilhelm Disbergen (Rhetorical); Kosie Smit (Somewhere On The Border).

Best Costume Design

Nicola Hanekom (Trilogy: Lot/Betésda/Babbel); Jemma Kahn (Delirium); Sarah Roberts (The Miser); David Kramer and Saul Radomsky (Kat and the Kings); Ernest Korkie (Lied Van My Hart).

Best Theatre Set Design

Greg King (Red); Neil Coppen (Abnormal Loads); Niall Griffin (The Line); Dicky Longhurst (The Blue Iris); Denis Hutchinson (Delirium).

•The Naledi Theatre Awards take place at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City on March 18. This year’s function will be open to the public and will feature a wonderful entertainment line-up and celebrity presenters.

A pre-show cocktail and glass of wine is included in the ticket price, which ranges from R50 for students to R200. Tickets are available from