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BLACK MAMBA WINS (article first published : 2007-02-24)

The star-studded Naledi Theatre Awards 2006 took place at the University of Johannesburg Arts Centre on February 19.

Staged and directed by theatre icon Dawn Lindberg the 4th Naledi Theatre Award ceremony offered an impressive programme of entertainment along with the presentation of the awards.

Among the performers were Durban actors Ben Vos and John van de Ruit who presented an excerpt from their smash-hit satirical two-hander, Black Mamba. Directed by Murray McGibbon and produced by Mamba Productions / Liberty Life Theatre on the Square, Black Mamba won the award for Best Production of a Revue.

Featuring strongly in the line-up was former Durban actor James Ngcobo, now turned director. He recently directed The Suitcase written by Eskia Mphahlele and produced by Market Theatre by arrangement with the Baxter Theatre Centre.He received a Naledi Award for Best Director of a Play or Musical and the production itself won awards for Best New South African Play, Best Production of a Straight Play. It also won Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (Play) for Siyabonga Twala; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Mncendisi Shabangu, and Best Performance by a Newcomer / Breakthrough (Female) for Nqobile Sipamla.

Lifetime Achievement awards were presented to industry veterans Salaelo Maredi, David Phetoe, Doris Sehule, Moira Lister and a posthumous award to the State Theatre CEO, Michael Lovegrove.

The Naledi Theatre Awards covers all mainstream, professional live theatre productions that took place during 2006. The panel of judges considered some 60 productions in 24-four categories and over 1,000 actors, writer's designers and technicians were assessed.

With the substantial funding received from the National Department of Arts and Culture, the Gauteng Department of Arts and Culture and sponsors Computicket, Wharfedale-Pro, Vodacom, Gallo Music and the two founding sponsors - Percy Tucker and Christopher Seabrook - the winners in all categories and the Lifetime Achievers received generous cheques and Trophies.

An edited two-hour television Special will be flighted on SABC 3 on March 9 at 20h00.

Visit www.naleditheatreawards.org.za for more information.




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