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FOOLS AWARDS WINNERS (article first published : 2004-04-3)

The second annual Fools Awards were presented last night, April 1, at the Kwasuka Theatre in Durban following a performance of the hit musical review, Brutal Tunes, directed by Caroline Smart and starring Lisa Bobbert and Anthony Stonier.

Organised by Durban publicity and production company Copy Dog and voted for by the public, this year’s awards were made following wide participation by email voters. Their votes rendered the following results:

In the general category, the winners were: Hannah Lurie (best dressed woman); Ebrahim Medell (best dressed man); Amanda Laird-Cherry (best fashion designer); Helen Walne (best writer); Dianne Kohler-Barnard (best radio personality); and Andrew Verster (best visual artist).

In the music category, Christopher Duigan and Andrew Warburton tied as Best Classical Musician, while Evan Roberts won the majority vote for best contemporary musician. Best Female Singer was Karen Van Pletsen, Best Male Singer Anthony Stonier (for the second year); Best Classical Music Group was the Kerimov Trio; Syd Kitchen and Madala Kunene took the Best Contemporary Group vote. Music Revival won the Best Classical Music Productions vote for its ongoing series of concert presentations, while the Best Contemporary Music Production award went to the evening’s entertainment act, Brutal Tunes.

In the Dance category Louise Fraquet won the Best Female Dancer award, with a tie between Ebrahim Medell & Quinton Ribbonaar as Best Male Dancer. The Best Choreographer award went to David Gouldie; Best Dance Company to Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company; and the Best Dance Production vote went to FFFDC’s Grass Gardens.

In the Theatre Category Best Costume Design went to Peter Court for Puss in Boots; Best Set Design to Greg King (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Memory of Water, Proof, Run to Ground); Best Lighting Design went to Michael Broderick (Café Ole, Grass Gardens, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Lady Sings the Blues, Table Manners).

The award for Best Poster Design was won by Vanessa Burger (Lady Sings the Blues, Uncut-The Penis Monologues); the Best Script award went to Greig Coetzee (Happy Natives); Best Braekthrough Actress to Donnagh Roberts (Table Manners). The award for Best Breakthrough Actor was presented to Oded Rouche (Brer Rabbit & Friends, Hamlet). Best Actress was Clare Mortimer (Disgrace, Memory of Water, Proof); and Best Actor, Neil Coppen (Hamlet, Proof). Greg King was voted Best Director (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Memory of Water, Proof, Run to Ground). Best Children’s Production saw a tie between The Actors Co-Operative’s Brer Rabbit & Friends and Brincat Production’s The Boy with a Clown’s Heart. The best Theatre Production award went to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

In the newly introduced category of Charisma awards (not directly linked to but influenced by public vote for artists whose nominations reflect really extraordinary audience appeal), Carol Trench and Lisa Bobbert were winners.

In the Impact Award section, (not open to public vote) ten people or organizations are selected for praise and acknowledgement for excellence in their fields and also for the impact their contribution to the arts has made. They were Val Adamson, for excellence in photography; Dick Breytenbach to his ongoing championing of the arts; Sue Clarence for the Natal Witness Hilton Arts Festival, bringing consistently good theatre to KwaZulu-Natal; Margie Coppen for arts administration and marketing; Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company for youth and community projects; Billy Suter and Margaret Von Klemperer for arts journalism; Peter Taylor for arts administration; Themi Venturas for the Catalina Theatre and Youth Projects; and noted Durban-based visual artist Aiden Walsh for outstanding achievement in the arts.

Finally, a new Lifetime Achievement Award, named the Smart Award for local arts and entertainment doyenne Caroline Smart, went to Alfred Nokwe – for a distinguished career in the arts lasting more than 40 years during which he has exercised a profound influence on generations of younger artists.

Historically in the world of arts and entertainment, “The Fool” - as in Shakespeare, commedia and many other ancient performance cultures - is someone who cloaks wise comment in the guise of comedy, much as today’s satirists do. In Zulu culture, the parallel of a “fool” would be an “imbongi” or an “inyosi”, praise singers who can be considered as poets with indepth knowledge of the king and community. Chroniclers of the community’s history, they gather the news of the district with clear-sighted vision. They are walking libraries and custodian of the subject’s biography. Those nominated for a Fools Award are chosen because they are part of a vibrant and challenging performance and entertainment industry that has the capacity to channel public opinion, make people think and hopefully make positive changes to society.




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