KZN playwright honoured at Naledi Awards

2013-03-20 00:00

DURBAN theatremaker Neil Coppen was rewarded for his innovation with the Naledi Award for best new South African script for Abnormal Loads at Monday night’s ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.

Abnormal Loads also won the prize for best theatre lighting design, by Tina le Roux.

The play was also honoured at the Durban Theatre Awards in December.

It took prizes for directing for Coppen and his co-director, Janna Ramos-Violante, best new South African script for Coppen, best production drama or comedy, and best lighting design for Le Roux.

Coppen, the Standard Bank Young Artist for drama in 2010, was delighted with his win, but even happier for Le Roux.

“I’m most happy about Tina’s win … I’m also a little disappointed.

“I would have loved the evening even more if I could have got directing with Janna,” he said.

Abnormal Loads examines history in the fictional town of Bashford in northern KwaZulu-Natal and the roles played by its English, Afrikaans and African residents, the strange complexities of living in a small town and love across the colour bar.

Durban-based KickstArt Theatre Company, run by Greg King and Steven Stead, also had several awards to celebrate.

Samantha Peo — fresh from her win at the Fleur du Cap Awards on Sunday — received the prize for best performance in a musical (female) for her work in Cabaret.

Best performance by an actor in a leading role went to Michael Richard for his riveting performance in KickstArt’s production of Red, while his son, Jeremy, won best supporting actor for the same play.

King said they were delighted with the wins for Red and Cabaret, adding: “It’s been so wonderful to be recognised on a national level alongside the best that is being offered around the country.”

Other winners at the 10th Annual Naledi Theatre Awards were Silvaine Strike, whose play The Miser, about the madness of a father’s greed, paranoia and suspicion, won four awards: best production of a play, supporting actress ( Patricia Boyer); costume design (Sarah Roberts) and director (Strike).

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera won three awards: best production of a musical (Pieter Toerien Productions), best musical director/score/arrangement for Louis Zurnamer and best performance in a musical (male) for Jonathan Roxmouth.

The lifetime achievement award went to South Africa’s first lady of song, multiple award-winning Sibongile Khumalo (Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu, Songs of Migration).

Naledi’s chairperson, Dali Tambo, said Khumalo was an inspiration to all who witnessed her performances, adding that her talents include acting, opera, jazz, teaching and being a strong activist for the advancement of theatre in SA.

The full list of winners at the Naledi Theatre Awards:


Life time achievement award : 

Sibongile Khumalo


Executive director's award: 

Yvette Hardy, MD of Assitej SA


Best Theatre Set Design 

Denis Hutchinson - Delirium 


Best Costume Design 

Sarah Roberts - The Miser 


Best Theatre Lighting Design 

Tina Le Roux - Abnormal Loads 


Best Theatre Sound Design / Sound Effects 

Braam du Toit - Trilogy: Lot/Betésda/Babbel 


Best Production of Children Theatre 

Goggas! - National Children Theatre 


Best Performance by Newcomer / Breakthrough (Male/Female) 

Atandwa Kani - Rhetorical 


Best Community Theatre 

Sello Le Dipogiso - Black Child Productions directed by Thembeni Joni 


Best Original Choreography (Musical or Play) 

Loukmaan Adams & Jodi Abrahams –The Kat and the Kings 


Best Musical Director / Score / Arrangement 

Louis Zurnamer (MD) - Phantom of the Opera 


Best Ensemble Production/Cutting Edge 

Delirium – written by Ariel Dorfman. Produced by The Market Theatre. Directed by Greg Homann 


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role / Cameo 

Patricia Boyer - The Miser 


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role / Cameo 

Jeremy Richard - Red 


Best Director of a Play or Musical 

Sylvaine Strike - The Miser 


Best Performance in a Musical (Female) 

Samantha Peo - Cabaret 


Best Performance in a Musical (Male) 

Jonathan Roxmouth - The Phantom of the Opera 


Best Production of Play

The Miser - produced by Fortune Cookie Theatre Company & Market Theatre, directed by Sylvaine Strike 


Best Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role (Play) 

Khutjo Green - The Line 


Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (Play) 

Michael Richard - Red 


Best New South African Script 

Abnormal Loads - produced by the Market Theatre in ass with Standard Bank and Think Theatre, written by Neil Coppen, directed by Neil Coppen and Janna Ramos-Violante 


Best Production of Musical 

The Phantom of the Opera - produced by Pieter Toerien and The Really Useful Group Limited. directed by Harold Prince


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