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DURBAN THEATRE AWARDS WINNERS (article first published : 2005-11-22)

The Durban Theatre Awards took place on Monday night (November 21) at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre when the winners in a wide variety of performing categories were announced.

The glittering gala showcase evening featured excerpts from the festive season productions. It was attended by the who’s who in the entertainment industry and the programme was hosted by Johanne Pillay of P4 Radio and Terrence Pillay from M-Net's Studio 53.

As it is the major producer of drama in Durban, it was to be expected that the KickstArt theatre company would walk away with most of the awards in the Drama category. Kickstart’s Cinderella won the Children’s Theatre Performer- Female award for Belinda Henwood while the Male award was shared by Thomie Holtzhausen and Darren King. Cinderella was voted the top Children’s Theatre production and Steven Stead won the Children’s Theatre – Director award.

KickstArt’s double bill of Art and Boston Marriage won the company numerous awards including Set Design for Greg King for both productions.

Art attracted awards for Michael Gritten as Performance in a Comedy – Male and Lead Actor in a Drama. Boston Marriage won Performance in a Comedy – Female as well as the Supporting Actress in a Drama award for Janna Ramos-Violante with Clare Mortimer accepting the Lead Actress award and Steven Stead accepting the award for Director of a Drama. Boston Marriage also won the sought-after Drama Production award.

Sue Clarence Promotions garnered the Poster Design for Frank&Stein while Aladdin Trouble won the Costume Design for Kit Reading and the Musical Theatre/Music Revue Supporting Actor award for Rowan Bartlett. Life is a Cabaret won Lead Actor award in Musical Theatre/Music Revue for Anthony Stonier and the Musical Director award for Evan Roberts while the production itself topped the Music Revue category.

Very Very Big Productions’ entertaining production of Nunsense swept the board in the Musical Theatre/Music Revue category with Jackie Cunniffe & Megan Levy winning the Sound Design award and Michael Broderick the award for Lighting Design. Amra-Faye Wright won the award for Lead Actress with the Choreography award going to David Gouldie. The Musical Theatre/Music Revue Director’s award was won by Fiona Ramsay and Nunsense won the award for Musical Theatre of the year.

Nothando Ngubane won the Musical Theatre/Music Revue Supporting Actress award for California Dreaming. Supporting Actor in a Drama was Simphiwe Junior Ngidi for One for the Road.

Nonpumelelo Zondi won the New Performer – Female award for her performance in A Twist of Broadway while Jacobus van Heerden and Liam Magner tied for the New Performer – Male award for their Neon Anthems.

The award for New South African Script was a tie between John van de Ruit, Ben Voss, Grieg Coetzee for Black Mamba and Jacobus van Heerden & Liam Magner for Neon Anthems.

Apart from the individual categories, the judges present a special annual award to someone who has made a major contribution to the theatre industry in Durban. This year, the award went to publicist Illa Thompson of Publicity Matters for her tireless and pro-active support of theatre.

The Durban Theatre Awards were supported by The Hugo Bartel Trust for the Arts, Essenwood Craft Market, Durban Theatre Diary and Troubadour Productions. One of the highlights of the evening was a lucky draw of a ClaviTech home keyboard/digital piano donated by Tim Pullen and ClaviTech. Sponsorship in kind was also received from the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, The Garden of Earthly Design, RoyalSechaba, Computicket and Stuart Edwards & Company




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