Janice Honeyman’s ‘Adventures in Pantoland’ dominates the Naledi Theatre Awards with 9 nominations

Janice Honeyman’s ‘Adventures in Pantoland’. Picture: Corne du Plessis

Janice Honeyman’s ‘Adventures in Pantoland’. Picture: Corne du Plessis

Published Mar 29, 2023


South Africa's panto queen Janice Honeyman’s “Adventures in Pantoland” is leading the pack with nine nominations including Best Director of a Musical Theatre Production and Best Theatre AV Design at the 2022/23 Naledi Theatre Awards.

Trailing behind with eight nominations is “Kunene and The King”, which features Dr John Kani and is directed by Honeyman.

Honeyman is vying for the title of Best Director in A Play for “Kunene and The King” and, in doing so, goes up against Charmaine Weir-Smith for “The Beauty Queen of Leenane”, Greg Homann for “The Lesson”, James Ngcobo for “The Brothers Size”, Robert Whitehead for “Hansard” and Sylvaine Strike for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

“Hlakanyana - The Musical”, “Pelegi”, “Sinbad” and “Third World Express” have each scored five nominations, while “The Parrot Woman” and “Seeing Other People“ bagged three nominations each.

According to the press statement shared with IOL Entertainment, the Naledi Theatre Awards judging panels saw over 100 productions across all genres of the performing arts.

“Covid has shown our industry a new way forward in presenting productions. There has been a marked upturn in the number of plays produced, with many of them being solo performances,” said Lihan Pretorius, the CEO of the Naledi Theatre Awards, in a statement.

“The quality of work has been exceptional, with practitioners really honing their craft and maximising minimum budgets”.

Renos Spanoudes, the head of the judging panels added: “Producers have really gone all out to ensure production values are kept to a very high standard.

“Across the board we have seen performing arts practitioners manage to lure the general public back to theatre again after a long hiatus, where, for a while only, the diehard theatregoers ventured out to see productions.”

The judges were faced with extremely hard choices due to the calibre of work and in the end, they relied on the sentinel tenet of the Naledi Theatre Awards, “celebrating excellence in theatre”.

The nominations were announced, on Monday, March 27, at an intimate event held at the Joburg Theatre.

See below the full list of nominees.

Best Production For Children and Young Audiences (Aged 0-13) Supported by ASSTEJ SA

Annie (Pretoria Youth Theatre)

Balloonacy (National Children’s Theatre)

Innocence Lost (National Children’s Theatre)

Kids Of Amandla Street (The Kwasha Theatre Company)

The Little Mermaid Jr (People’s Theatre at The Joburg Theatre)

Under The Baobab Tree (National Children’s Theatre)

Best Performance In A Production for Young Audiences

Craig Morris (Balloonacy - National Children’s Theatre)

Jay Hlatswayo (Seussical Jr - National Children’s Theatre)

Luciano Zuppa (The Little Mermaid Jr - People’s Theatre at The Joburg Theatre)

Madelein Pienaar (Hope The Rhino - National Children’s s Theatre)

Noni Mkhonto (The Little Mermaid Jr - People’s Theatre at The Joburg Theatre)

Best Production : Independent/Fringe Theatre

Cruise (HIV@40)

Johnnie Motsamai

Seeing Other People

What was is no more

Best Performance In An Independent /Fringe Theatre Production

Daniel Geddes (Cruise - HIV@40)

James Netherland (Seeing Other People)

Khanyisile Ngwabe (What was is no more)

Martin Grendele (Seeing Other People)

Nthabileng Masudubele (Johnnie Motsamai)

Best Production: Student Theatre

Cabaret (Redhill School)

Come Together (LAMTA)

Nesting Flight (Oakfields College)

Sister Act (Oakfields College)

Ticket to Broadway (King David Victory Park)

Whistleblowers (AFDA)

Best Performance In A Student Theatre Production

Nicolas Hattingh (Cabaret - Redhill School)

Noluthando Mathebula (Sister Act - Oakfields College)

Robert Everson (Come Together - LAMTA)

Samkelo Fonte (Nesting Flight - Oakfields College)

Best Production: Dance, Physical Theatre and Ballet

Demi Sapien Ingress

Isenyuso La Traviata



Best Performer In A Dance, Physical Theatre and Ballet Production

Lindé Wessels (Lyf)

Oscar Buthelezi (Ingress - Moving Into Dance)

Phelelani Ndakrokra (Moya)

Thami Tshabalala (Isenyuso)

Vincent Mantsoe (SoliiDaD)

Xola Willie (Lyf)

Best Supporting Actress In A Play

Berenice Barbier (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Jennifer Steyn (The Beauty Queen of Leenane)

Masego Modiba (Pelegi)

Ontlametse Masilo (Pelegi)

Shoki Mmola (Ruined)

Best Supporting Actor In A Play

Josias dos Moleele (Bloke and his American Bantu)

Marlo Minnaar (The Brothers Size)

Nhlakanipho Manqele (The Brothers Size)

Sanda Shandu (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

Sven Ruygrok (The Beauty Queen of Leenane)

Best Breakthrough Performance

Boitumelo Marule (Pelegi)

Jordan Human (Die Gelofte)

Lihle Ngubo (The Lesson)

Micah Stojakovic (Sinbad)

Michaela Tucker (If a tree falls…)

Vash Singh (Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp)

Zoë McLaughlin (The Last Five Years - Tally Ho!)

Best Choreography In A Play Or Musical Theatre Production

Bertwin de Souza & Shampa Gopikrishna (Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp)

Gregory Maqoma (Third World Express)

Ignatius van Heerden (Birthing Nureyev)

Khaya Ndlovu (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Lihle Nene (Sifu)

Mandla Mngevu (The Red on the Rainbow)

Best Original Score/Musical Arrangements

Anton Luitingh (The Trolley Dollies - The Triplets of Bellville)

Coenie de Villiers & Mauritz Lotz (Karoo Suite 2: Karoonagte)

Dawid Boverhof (Brel/Piaf)

Johan Vorster & Jacomien de Wet (Die Gelofte)

Sne Dladla, Zolani Shangase & Dionne Song (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Zusakhe Ngqame (Pelegi)

Best Original Soundscape

Billy Maboa (Sifu - The Market Theatre)

Lugiswa Plaatjies (Kunene and the King)

Franco Prinsloo (Plesierengel)

Vangile Z. Mpumlwana (The Lesson)

Sydney Mavundla & Volley Nchabeleng (The Red on the Rainbow)

Best Musical Director

Coenie de Villiers & Mauritz Lotz (Karoo Suite 2)

Dale-Ray Scheepers (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Dawid Boverhoff (Brel/Piaf)

Francois Lessing (Die Gelofte)

Jaco Griessel (The Last Five Years)

Zolani Shangase (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Best Performance In A Solo Production

Bryan Schimmel (More Than a Handful)

Charlie Bouguenon (Hans steek die Rubicon oor)

Ignatius van Heerden (Birthing Nureyev)

Khutjo Green (Country Duty)

Peter Terry (At All Costs)

Ruan Wessels (Plesierengel)

Best Performance In A Solo Comedy Production (With Elements of Stand-Up)

Marc Lottering (Uncle Marc)

Mark Banks (Mask About Face)

Alan Comittie (Live and Let Laugh)

Nik Rabonowitz (Unmuted)

Best Ensemble In A Musical Theatre Production

Amanda Strydom, André Schwartz, Dawid Boverhoff & Coenraad Rall

Brendan van Rhyn, Christopher Dudgeon & Rudi Jansen (The Trolley Dollies - The

Triplets of Bellville)

Coenie de Villiers, Deon Meyer & Mauritz Lotz (Karoo Suite 2 – Karoonagte)

Ensemble (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Ensemble (Third World Express)

Best Ensemble In A Play

Ensemble (Pelegi)

Cast (Sifu)

Cast (The Drowning Eye)

Cast (The Red on the Rainbow)

Best Consume Design

Anjc Naidoo, Priya Naidoo, Bertwin de Souza & Bepin Tanna (Aladdin and his

Wonderful Lamp)

Brendan van Rhyn, Christopher Dudgeon & Rudi Jansen (The Trolley Dollies - The Triplets of Bellville)

Bronwen Lovegrove (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Charles J. Fourie (The Parrot Woman)

FADA (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Shanti Naidoo (Sinbad)

Best Theatre Set Design

Birrie le Roux (Kunene and the King)

FADA (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Greg King (Sinbad)

Greg King (The Beauty Queen of Leenane)

Jade Bowers (The Parrot Woman)

Karabo Legoabe (Ruined)

Best Theatre AV Design

Andrew Timm (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Andrew Timm (Third World Express)

Disrupt Media (Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp)

Naret Loots (Birthing Nureyev)

Best Lighting Design

Bobby Heaney & Francois van der Hoven (Fordsburg’s Finest)

Denis Hutchinson (The Beauty Queen of Leenane)

Hlomohang Mothetho (The Red on the Rainbow)

Oliver Hauser (Third World Express)

Phuti Matuba (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Simon King (The Brothers Size)

Best Sound Design

Adriaan van der Walt (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Akhona Bozo (Kunene and the King)

Les Javan (Joanie Galant-Hulle)

Ntuthuko Mbuyazi (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Pieter-Louis van Twisk (Die Gelofte)

Vangile Z. Mpumlwana (The Lesson)

Best Director of a Musical Theatre Production

Gregory Maqoma (Third World Express)

Janice Honeyman (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Janice Honeyman (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Jannes Erasmus (Die Gelofte)

Steven Stead (Sinbad)

Best Director in A Play

Charmaine Weir-Smith (The Beauty Queen of Leenane)

Greg Homann (The Lesson)

James Ngcobo (The Brothers Size)

Janice Honeyman (Kunene and the King)

Robert Whitehead (Hansard)

Sylvaine Strike (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

Best Supporting Performance In A Musical Theatre Production: Female

Ilse Klink (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Michelle Botha (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Momo Matsunyane (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Zoricke Snyman (Die Gelofte)

Best Supporting Performance In A Musical Theatre Production: Male

Ben Voss (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

David Johnson (Janice Honeyman’s Adventures in Pantoland)

Eddie de Jager (Die Gelofte)

King B (Third World Express)

Sibusiso Mxosana (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Best Lead Performance In A Musical Theatre Production: Female

Amanda Strydom (Brel/Piaf)

Bernice West (Die Gelofte)

Manakomba Ndamande (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Stephanie Baartman (Music of the Night)

Zoë McLaughlin (The Last Five Years)

Best Lead Performance In A Musical Theatre Production: Male

André Schwartz (Brel/Piaf)

Anthony Downing (The Last Five Years)

Coenie de Villiers (Karoo Suite 2 – Karoonagte)

Johan Vorster (Die Gelofte)

Sandisile Dlangalala (Hlakanyana - The Musical)

Best lead Actress In A Play

Fiona Ramsay (Hansard)

Gontse Ntshegang (The Parrot Woman)

Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala (Ruined)

Julie-Anne McDowell (The Beauty Queen of Leenane)

Kim Cloete (Joanie Galant-Hulle)

Robyn Scott (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

Best lead Actor In A Play

Alan Committie (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

Graham Hopkins (Hansard)

John Kani (Kunene and the King)

Katlego Chale (The Brothers Size)

Michael Richard (Kunene and the King)

Paul Slabolepszy (Fordsburg’ss Finest)

Best New South African Script

Deon Meyer (Karoo Suite 2 – Karoonagte)

John Kani (Kunene and the King)

Leon van Nierop (Plesierengel)

Monageng Motshabi (The Red on the Rainbow)

Peter Terry (At All Costs)

Siphiwe Mahala (Bloke and his American Bantu)

Best Production Of A Play


Kunene and the King

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

The Brothers Size

The Parrot Woman (The Market Theatre)

The Red on the Rainbow

Best Production Of A Musical/Musical Theatre Production


Die Gelofte



The Trolley Dollies - The Triplets of Bellville

Third World Express

∎The winners of the Naledi Theatre Awards will be revealed on May 22 at the Joburg Theatre.