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FOOLS AWARDS 2006 (article first published : 2006-04-3)

Nominees in the SM / Copydog Fools Awards 2006 were treated to a whacky performance of Lisa Bobbert’s new show, Bobbert Uncut at the Playhouse Loft last night, before the winning nominees were announced.

This is the fourth year that Copy Dog, a Durban-based publicity company, has presented the Fools Awards, an opportunity for the public to go online and vote for their favourite KwaZulu-Natal artists.

“April Fool's Day is a time for pranks, jokes and light-hearted fun. But 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,” said Copydog’s Clinton Marius at the awards ceremony. “Or to bring it closer to home, to KwaZulu-Natal, in the way that the imbongi or the praise poet in Zulu culture speaks with the voice of the community.”

Traditionally in European culture, jesters and fools carried a stick representing a sceptre or ‘Ninny stick’ as it was known. The Fools Award Trophy is designed by local ceramic artist Wendy Nel.

The time span covered by the awards is always for achievements in the previous year, from 1st January through to the 31st December. Some artists who are not based in KZN but who were nominated made it onto the list because their production is presented in KZN, or because they spend a significant enough period of time in the province to warrant inclusion.

This year, the organisers welcomed the Sunday Tribune which has come on board as the official media partner. To celebrate this partnership, Copydog created a new category called the SM Award, for the comedian or comedienne who makes audiences laugh the most. Winning the SM Award for Best Comedian was Afzal Khan.

In the General Category awards were presented to Rosanne Immelman for Best Fashion Designer; John van de Ruit for Best Writer and Andrew Verster for Best Visual Artist. Damon Beard of East Coast Radio won the award for Best Radio Personality.

In the Music Category; the classical section saw Ian Holloway winning Best Musician while the award for Best Classical Music Group went to the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and Bravo! Opera won Best Classical Music Production. Contemporary music was represented by Musa Vincent Mtetwa who won Best Contemporary Musician; Burlesque Supergroup which was voted Best Contemporary Group and The Sound of Music which won Best Contemporary Music Production. Karen Wood and Nicholas Ndadane won Best Female and Male Singer respectively.

The Dance Category saw best Female and Male Dancer going to Neliswa Rushualang and Quinton Ribbonaar respectively with David Gouldie winning Best Choreographer. Receiving the most votes for Best Dance Company was Phenduka Dance Theatre with the Best Dance Production going to Shall We Dance.

In the Theatre Category, Best Costume Design went to Terrence Bray with Best Set Design awarded to Greg King - both for Bravo! Opera, Dracula and The Sound of Music. Bravo! Opera along with Let the Good Times Roll were the productions which won Best Lighting Design for Michael Broderick. Best Poster Design went to Frank & Stein and the team of Greig Coetzee, John van de Ruit and Ben Voss of Thunderdog Productions won Best Script for Black Mamba.

Winning the awards for Best Breakthrough Actress and Actor were Josette Eales for The Adventures of Jabulani Joe and Dracula and Liam Magner for Neon Anthems. Best Actress and Best Actor went to Clare Mortimer for Boston Marriage and Crimes of the Heart and Neil Coppen for Dracula.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was voted Best Student Production. KickstArt’s Snow White won the award for Best Children’s Production and Steven Stead won Best Director for Boston Marriage, Bravo! Opera and Dracula. Frank & Stein from Sue Clarence Promotions was voted Best Theatre Production.

Taking their cue from the numerous comments accompanying so many of the votes, Copydog presents the Charisma Award to those nominees who attract the most comment. These were awarded to Lisa Bobbert, Aaron McIlroy and Nothando Ngubane. The Impact Awards were presented to The Playhouse Company for the International Traditional Arts Festival; Dawn Selby for Outstanding contribution to Music; the Durban Film Festival for Outstanding contribution to Film and to Rajesh Gopie for his ground-breaking The Coolie Odyssey.

Director Garth Anderson, whose Actors Cooperative recently presented King Lear in the Playhouse, received the Smart Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. This award is given to an individual who has made - and continues to make - an outstanding contribution to the arts community. When identifying the recipient, the organisers look for people who have “made a difference” or who have “gone that extra mile” in their support of the arts.




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