Honouring excellence

2009-11-19 00:00

TO HONOUR the life of South African broadcaster Monica Fairall, a special award is being presented to those who make an essential contribution to theatre productions but who, because they work away from the limelight of the stage, are not usually acknowledged.

The first Monica Fairall Memorial Award will be presented at Durban’s “Oscar” night, the Mercury Durban Theatre Awards, which takes place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on November 23 at 7.30 pm.

Those eligible for the award ­include production managers, stage managers, company managers and administrators, wardrobe mistresses and masters, archivists and ­librarians and community theatre leaders.

Fairall’s husband, Professor ­Robert Morrell, said they decided to create the award because the performing arts were extremely ­important to Fairall, who died in June after a battle with cancer.

“She was a supreme performer but she very much appreciated the roles of the people who weren’t in the limelight,” he added. “In a way, this was who she was herself: ­somebody who kept her own counsel and shunned fame and fortune but who cared a lot about things being done well and who would do a lot to ensure that they were done well.”

The award is one of several which will be presented during the Durban Theatre Awards, which aim to ­recognise productions originating in Durban and presented during the period October 1, 2008 to September 30 this year.

Some 46 productions, ranging from drama and comedy to musical theatre, music revue, music compilation, cabaret and children’s theatre, are vying for honours at this year’s ceremony.

“The calibre of work produced in Durban remains at a consistently high standard and the Durban Theatre Awards recognises and acknowledges this standard,” administrator Peter Taylor said.

Hosted by Nothando Ngubane from Gagasi 99.5 FM and Beauty Ramapelepele (a.k.a. Ben Voss), the evening promises to be a sophisticated and glamorous celebration of the local theatre industry.

The evening will also include ­excerpts from productions that are being presented in Durban throughout the festive season, offering the audience a glimpse of what is on ­offer at theatres at this time of the year.

Booking for the awards ceremony is through Computicket.

• THOSE who would like to ensure that the Monica ­Fairall Memorial Award lives on to commemorate Fairall’s contribution to the performing arts are invited to make monetary contributions. All deposits for the Monica Fairall Memorial Award Fund to: WBI Trust Account, First National Bank, Durban Corporate, branch code: 22-14-26, account number: 508 559 270 66. NB: Enter your file number in this office as the reference 26M3574A9.

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