The cast of ‘Angola Camp 13’. Picture: Supplied
The cast of ‘Angola Camp 13’. Picture: Supplied

'Angola Camp 13' dominates the Naledi Theatre Awards 2020

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Sep 15, 2020

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“Angola Camp 13”, a musical theatre production by Sello Maseko, was the biggest winner of the 2020 Naledi Theatre Awards on Sunday, September 13.

The liberation musical scooped six awards including Best Director in a musical Sello Maseko, Best Choreography Mduduzi Vincent Nhlapo, Best Musical Original Score Cromwell Modungwa, Best Sound Design Blessing Jiyane, Best Musical Original Score and Best Ensemble.

The musical about MK soldiers in exile in Angola during the liberation struggle was staged at the National Arts Festival and South African State Theatre in 2019.

Maseko began writing Angola in 2016 and in 2018. The production was selected to be developed by the State Theatre’s Incubator programme.

Following sold-out and critically acclaimed performances at several festivals across the country, the musical made it to the mainstream theatre space with a run at the State Theatre in 2019.

The other big winner at the prestigious Naledi Theatre Awards was “Xova”, which walked away with three prizes including Best Play, Best New SA script and Best Best Director of a Play: Joseph Komane.

“Xova”, examines a father's absenteeism in the upbringing of children to highlight the brunt women carry in solo parenting.

The show employs movement with some text in Xhosa through its narration. It features an all-women cast led by household names, Charmaine Mtinta and Zimkhitha Nyoka.

A scene from “Xova”. Picture: Mark Wessels

Commenting on the awards, Chairperson of the Naledi's, Kgomotso Christopher, said: “What has been particularly wonderful to see, is the continued high standard of home-grown work being presented.”

She continued:” With the additional categories under review and the expanded panels covering six genres, we have been able to acknowledge and reward world-class excellence in theatre."

Dawn Lindberg, CEO and Artistic Director of the Naledi's, added: "Our 'In Memoriam' section was particularly moving this year, not only in honouring so many beloved people in our industry, who gave their final bows during the year under review, such as Mary Twala and Johnny Clegg but also because the images were accompanied by the Roedean choir performing 'Halleluja', under the critically acclaimed Ralf Schmitt.”

Special Awards were also made: the “Lesedi Spirit of Courage Award” was given to a leading dancer from the Vuyani Dance Theatre company, Musa Motha, who lost a leg 12 years ago after a virulent cancer of the bone.

The “Innovation in theatre” Award went to Rudi Sadler and Johan van der Merwe for their cutting edge one on one productions in site-specific venues, “Deurnis”.

Technical Life Time Achievement Awards were given to Graham Brune, veteran retired Stage Manager of the Lyric Theatre, and Stan Knight, who designed lighting and sets for over 120 productions over the past few decades.

The Life Time Achievement Award was taken by the multi-talented Annabel Linder, who has spent almost 60 years in the industry, and the World Impact Awards went to one of the most respected and loved playwrights in the world, Athol Fugard.

Click here to view the full list of the Naledi Theatre awards 2020.

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