Press release: An evening of flamboyant celebration at the 53rd Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards

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The winners of the 53rd annual Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards were announced on Sunday, 18 March 2018 at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.

For more than five decades the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards together with Fleur du Cap Wines have been honouring excellence in theatre, at this theatrical spectacular that is a highlight of the Mother City's cultural calendar.

Winners are chosen from productions performed at professional theatre venues in and around Cape Town. Theatre practitioners are recognised for their acting, directing, staging and technical abilities. Category winners received R15 000 and a medallion. 

A total of 115 productions from the year under review were eligible for consideration. The awards, considered in 26 different categories, include special awards for Lifetime Achievement which went to Alvon Collison, and the Award for Innovation in Theatre was shared by Imbewu Trust and Kunste Onbeperk.

The event was hosted in fabulous fashion by Africa Melane who was supported by a variety of leading ladies who have previously been acknowledge on our stages and have the coveted Fleur du Cap Theatre Award; Lara Foot, Janice Honeyman, Liz Mills, Quanita Adams, Jill Levenberg, Susan Danford, Jennifer Steyn, Celeste Matthews, Sive Gubangxa, Penny Youngleson, Ntomboxolo Makhutshi, Emily Child, Tara-Louise Notcutt and Daneel van der Walt. The glamorous audience included theatre-makers, producers, actors, past award recipients, dignitaries and Fleur du Cap wine brand ambassadors.

The award ceremony was directed by Alistair Izobell and audiences thoroughly enjoyed the seamlessly crafted celebration that included outstanding performances by female artists Elwira Standili, Salomé Damon, Sasha-Lee Davids, Lucy Tops, Andrea Anthony, Tye Platinum and the band Sweet Chilli. Assistant Director and choreographer Grant van Ster provided the accompanying flair with performances by dancers Luke de Kock, Craig Pedro, Elvis Sibeko, Buyile Narwele, Mikayla Isaacs, SimonéWelgemoed, Gabrielle Botha and Caitlin Smith.

Five MakuAsh Residency students from Makukhanye Art Room, as part of their training supported the backstage team and in the process received valuable experience.

The evening concluded in elegant style with guests enjoying a celebratory night cap and desserts.

The judges for the 2017 productions were Africa Melane, Dr Beverley Brommert, Eugene Yiga, Johan van Lill, Marina Griebenow, Maurice Carpede, Niel Roux, Tracey Saunders and Wayne Muller. The panel, made up largely of local critics, journalists, writers and drama educators, was chaired by non-voting Melanie Burke. Voting is done by secret ballot, and all processes are strictly overseen and audited by Distell Internal Audit and the legal firm Cluver Markotter Inc.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Award for most promising student

Luntu Masiza, AFDA

Best new South African script

What Remains by Nadia Davids 

Best new director

Nico Scheepers 

Best theatre production for children and young people

Jon Keevy for The Underground Library

Best performance by an ensemble

The Cast of What Remains

Best performance in a revue, cabaret or one-person show

Gideon Lombard in Die Reuk van Appels as Marnus

Best performance by a supporting actor in a musical or music theatre show

Sanda Shandu in King Kong as Lucky

Best performance by a supporting actress in a musical or music theatre show

Isabella Jane in Evita as The Mistress

Best performance by a lead actor in a musical or music theatre show

David Dennis in Priscilla Queen of the Desert as Bernadette

Best performance by a lead actress in a musical or music theatre show

Edith Plaatjies in King Kong as Joyce

Best lighting design

Wilhelm Disbergen for What Remains

Best set design

Greg King for Suddenly the Storm

Best costume design

Leigh Bishop and Lieze van Tonder for Twelfth Night

Best sound design, original music composition or original score

Charl-Johan Lingenfelder for Original Music Composition (additional) for King Kong

Best performance in an opera – male

Lukhanyo Moyake in Rigoletto as The Duke of Mantua

Best performance in an opera – female

Johanni van Oostrum in Der Fliegende Holländer as Senta

Award for innovation in theatre 

Imbewu Trust & Kunste Onbeperk

Lifetime achievement award

Alvon Collison

Best performance by a supporting actor in a play

Mark Elderkin in Twelfth Night as Malvolio

Best performance by a supporting actress in a play

Robyn Scott in Shakespeare in Love as Elizabeth I, Ensemble

Best performance by a lead actress in a play

Faniswa Yisa in What Remains as The Archeologist

Best performance by a lead actor in a play

Craig Morris in Tartuffe as Tartuffe/Madame Pernelle

Best director

Jay Pather for What Remains

Best production 

Marat/Sade - The Baxter Theatre (Nicolette Moses)

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