An evening at the 52nd Fleur du Cap Awards
The Fleur du Cap awards has been recognized as one of the most coveted awards in the South African performing arts industry, annually honouring theatre excellence for more than 50 years. The awards pay homage to theatre practitioners for their acting, directing, staging and technical abilities. Originally known as the Three Leaf Arts Awards, the awards were first held in 1965 and were first instituted by the United Tobacco Company, who sponsored the awards until 1977. Following this, the Distell Foundation sponsored the awards for the last 40 years.
The Distell Foundation is the hub for Distell’s corporate social investment opportunities, and aims to create shared value for communities and businesses through societal value – this is shown through their strong backing of the Arts industry. Although the Fleur du Cap awards are in their 52nd year, not everyone is sure how the awards work, who qualifies, and how they are judged.
Here are some facts:
The awards are hosted on a rotational basis by the Artscape Theatre Centre and the Baxter Theatre.
Panelists visit various theatre venues in the greater Cape Town area, to ‘judge’ the skills of actors, directors and theatre technicians.
In order to be eligible for the awards, a production would have to run a showcase of at least 8 performances.
The awards do not consider productions that are staged as part of festivals, and excludes community and outreach productions.
Among the festival panelists for 2016 were Africa Melane, Christine Moritz, Peter Tromp, Steyn du Toit and Tracey Saunders.
The 2017 ceremony was co-hosted by Africa Melane and Cathy Specific.
The 2017 ceremony was held at the Artscape Theatre Centre on Sunday, 19 March 2017. The evening lived up to its expectations, and was a cultural and artistic melting pot that was ‘alive with flair’. The ceremony was beautifully crafted under the direction of previous Fleur du Cap winner, Matthew Wild. Wild is known for his direction of West Side Story, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and he will be returning to the Fugard Theatre in April with Funny Girl: The Musical. He was assisted by Jason Jacobs, who is known for his work on Stofrooi, Kalahari Swaan and In Wag Van.
The evening commenced with protest theatre where activists silently expressed their views on white privilege in the performing arts industry. Among the performances on the night were Zee Madiga, African Angels and the Rudi Smit Dancers. Complimenting the quality of vines used to produce Fleur du Cap wines, the diverse group of award winners embodied and justified why they were worthy of a Fleur du Cap award.
A few notable mentions:
Lara Foot, director of the Baxter Theatre scooped the award for Best Director, and the Best Actor in a Play award was won by Andrew Buckland for his performance in her play, The inconvenience of wings. Productions staged at the Baxter Theatre walked away with the Encore Award (The Fall), Best performance in a one-person show (Marlo Minnaar, Santa Gamka), Best Supporting Actor and Actress (Rob Van Vuuren and Anthea Thompson, A Doll’s House). The Fugard Theatre won three awards on the night in the categories of Best Set Design (Saul Radomsky), Best Soundscape, Original Music Composition or Original Score (David Kramer), and Best New South African Script (Mongiwekhaya). Faheem Bardien, Artscape’s resident lighting designer won the award for Best Lighting Design for Intyala Lawamele.
A congratulations to all the winners: