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All the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards winners!

The 57th Fleur du Cap Theatre Award winners have been announced.

Image supplied: The winners of the 57th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards
Image supplied: The winners of the 57th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards

Winning this year’s Fleur du Cap Lifetime Achievement Award was not the only triumph for multi-talented theatre doyenne Sandra Prinsloo at the prestige gala ceremony at Nederburg in Paarl.

Prinsloo excelled on stage, in local and international film and on TV over many years, said Lizelle Malan of Distell, the sponsors of the annual Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards. “During the course of her rich and varied career, Ms Prinsloo has played an extensive array of characters, imbuing them all with individuality, humanity, nuance and depth. She has been a mentor and inspiration to generations of actors and has contributed readily and generously to South African theatre. She has played no small part in the international recognition it enjoys.”

“Her re-imagining of author Elsa Joubert with such steely grace, humour and courage in Spertyd is just one example of her immense talent. We are proud to be associated with her well-deserved achievement and hope she continues to bring her talents to audiences long into the future,” Malan continued.

Africa Melane, chairperson of the panel of judges, said, “Sandra Prinsloo delivers in equal measure an exceptional intellect, astounding talent and an impeccable work ethic, performing great female roles in Shakespeare, Chekov, Williams and Strindberg. Her work in plays by PG du Plessis, Bartho Smit, Rachelle Greeff and Nico Scheepers has been equally memorable.”

Hers was not the only multi-win of the gala presentation night, dubbed a bittersweet occasion by Malan.

Image supplied: Sandra Prinsloo in Spertyd
Image supplied: Sandra Prinsloo in Spertyd

“For the theatrical fraternity to gather in person after two years, is an experience of joy. Yes, it is suffused with sadness after so much suffering. But it comes as a signal of hope, a mark of return to vitality of an industry severely battered by Covid, venue closures, loss of life and income. We know there is still a long road to recovery, but the greatest tribute we can pay to the courage of those who belong to the South African stage is to continue the fight until theatre is back in full force,” Malan said.

“What gives us optimism is not just the depth of local talent but also its thrilling range. Many new names join the ranks of the country’s foremost artists. Young and experienced players performing mainstream and experimental, classical and new works of both international and indigenous origin show an industry rich in opportunity and mentorship, ensuring its longevity,” Malan continued.

Valsrivier, adapted from the novel by Dominique Botha, was the most highly awarded production of the night. Anna-Mart van der Merwe won the award for best actress, Peggy Tunyiswa, for best supporting actress and Wolf Britz, for best lighting design.

Amongst the double-award winners was A Howl in Makhanda, a semi-autobiographical play about safety and surveillance, written and directed by Qondiswa James, who also won the award for best new South African script. Composer Jannous Aukema won for the play’s best sound design and original composition.

The Lady Aoi, presented by Abrahamse & Meyer Productions won for both best set design and best costume design in the local mounting of Yukio Mishima’s modern Noh masterpiece.

Image supplied: The Lady Aoi won multiple awards, including costume and set design
Image supplied: The Lady Aoi won multiple awards, including costume and set design

Presented by Eric Abraham and the now-defunct Fugard Theatre, the staging of Athol Fugard’s Master Harold… and the Boys also produced two wins, with Desmond Dube taking the title for best lead actor and Siya Mayola, for best supporting actor.

Malan said the sponsors were especially proud to be involved in the showcasing and advancing of local new talent in Sipenathi Siqwayi, who directed Ganga Nyoko! Inzima Nyoko! (Catch, Brother! It’s Hard, Brother!), a two-hander in isiXhosa and English.

Malan also commended the Magnet Theatre that won this year’s Award for Innovation in Theatre for its Early Years Theatre Incubator Project. Since 2014, Magnet Theatre has been developing African theatre for pre-school audiences. It not only creates and incubates new uniquely South African and African work for staging locally and abroad but also provides training in acting and stagecraft.

Melane stressed that developing and nurturing audiences for the future was essential to the sustainability of the industry. “The creation of new work for children ranging from zero to seven years of age can only be lauded. Often it is this work that provides audiences with their very first encounter with live performance. Can you imagine a greater honour as a performer?”

Magnet Theatre has toured extensively on the continent as well as abroad with productions incubated in the project, exposing their full-time trainees to collaborations with trainee participants from Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Winners were announced in 19 categories this year. Musical performances in plays were merged with those in musicals and music shows, given the limited number of musical events staged in 2020 and 2021. Winners each received R15,000 and a silver medallion.

Full list of 2021 winners

Best new South African script: Qondiswa James | A Howl in Makhanda

Best new director: Sipenathi Siqwayi | Ganga Nyoko! Inzima Nyoko!

Best performance by an ensemble: Wessel Pretorius and David Viviers | The Waterworks Anthology | Various roles

Best performance in a revue, cabaret or one-person show: Sandra Prinsloo | Spertyd | Elsa Joubert

Best lighting design: Wolf Britz | Valsrivier

Best set design: Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer | The Lady Aoi

Best costume design: Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer | The Lady Aoi

Best sound design, original music, soundscape or live performance: Jannous Aukema | A Howl in Makhanda | Sound design and original composition

Best performance in an opera - male: Makudupanyane Senaoana | Curlew River | Madwoman

Best performance in an opera - female: Siphokazi Molteno | Così fan tutte | Dorabella

Best performance by a supporting actor in a play, musical or music theatre production: Siya Mayola | Master Harold… and the Boys | Willie

Best performance by a supporting actress in a play, musical or music theatre production: Peggy Tunyiswa | Valsrivier | Mary Dlamini

Best performance by a lead actress in a play, musical or music theatre production: Anna-Mart van der Merwe | Valsrivier | Sandra Botha

Best performance by a lead actor in a play, musical or music theatre production: Desmond Dube | Master Harold… and the Boys | Sam

Best director: Paul du Toit | The Unlikely Secret Agent

Best production: Pieter Toerien Productions | The Producers

Award for most promising student: Byron McKeith | Northlink College

Award for innovation in theatre: The Magnet Theatre’s Early Years Programme

Lifetime Achievement Award: Sandra Prinsloo




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