Red carpets turn into magic carpet rides

'Kinky Boots' was the biggest winner at the virtual 55th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards
MOST AWARDED: 'Kinky Boots' was the biggest winner at the virtual 55th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards
Image: JESSE KRAMER

With the digital space taking over as the new meeting venue in 2020, some of the most prestigious red carpet events have had to scale down and focus on the basics.

The 55th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards are among the latest to hop into the space to keep the ball rolling.

Winners for this year’s awards were communicated virtually, reflecting a dynamic, healthy mix of emergent and established local talent, in the view of non-voting panel judging chair Africa Melane.

They each won R15,000 and a silver medallion.

Honouring the recipients, Melane said: “The tough economic times of recent years did not rob theatre and opera lovers of an exceptional quality of productions mounted. It demonstrates that talent will flourish regardless of the circumstances.”

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Kinky Boots, staged at the Fugard Theatre, took a total of six awards.

Scott won three awards, two of which went to writer and director Morapeleng Molekoa, while G7: Okwe Bokhwe (Like/Of a Goat) also won three, and The Glass Menagerie, two awards.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement award honoured veteran playwright, director, actor and educator Fatima (Fatts) Dike.

Melane said: “[Dike] has been instrumental in opening the doors of theatre to all.

“She educated herself in exile during the struggle, she defied and challenged the laws of segregation and she exposed the abomination of apartheid.

“Long may she continue to paint with words.”

Junkets Publisher’s Robin Malan and Andi Mgibantaka won The Innovation Award for their contribution to theatre arts, literature and education.

Other Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards winner include:

  • Best new South African script: Morapeleng Molekoa | Scott
  • Best new director: Morapeleng Molekoa | Scott
  • Best theatre production for children and young people: Lumka
  • Best performance by an ensemble: Abigail Mei, Carlo Daniels, Luxolo Mboso, Siyavuya Gqumehlo, Sivenathi Macibela, Sizwe Lubengu, Sityhilelo Makupula, Yvonne Msebenzi | G7: Okwe Bokhwe (Like/Of a Goat) | Various roles
  • Best performance in a revue, cabaret or one-person show: Tafara Nyatsanza | Scott | Various roles
  • Best performance by a supporting actor in a musical or music theatre show: Tshepo Ncokoane | Kinky Boots | Angel
  • Best performance by a supporting actress in a musical or music theatre show: Namisa Mdlalose | Kinky Boots | Lauren
  • Best performance by a lead actor in a musical or music theatre show: Earl Gregory | Kinky Boots | Lola
  • Best performance by a lead actress in a musical or music theatre show: Zolani Mahola | The One Who Sings | Herself
  • Best puppetry design: Jenine Collocott | The Old Man and the Sea | Masks
  • Best lighting design: Fred Abrahamse | Equus
  • Best set design: Paul Wills | Kinky Boots
  • Best costume design: Birrie le Roux | Kinky Boots
  • Best sound design, original music, soundscape or live performance: Babalwa Makwetu | G7: Okwe Bokhwe (Like/Of a Goat).

Sponsor Distell’s Bridgitte Backman said the winners had made a significant contribution to local culture, “shaping how we see ourselves and our place in society”.

The pandemic “could well be the impetus for courageous and inspiring new stage work” as creative excellence had often prompted by events of major historical significance, she said.

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