Musical Theatre Nominees to Hit the High Notes at 54th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards


With two weeks to go until the curtain rises on the 54th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards at the Artscape Opera House, it is time for the South African Theatre Archive to offer its congratulations to the musical theatre nominees that hit the high notes in several categories awarded by the awards programme for their work in 2019. The Fleur du Cap Theatre awards are regarded amongst the most valued and prestigious in the South African performing arts industry.

The Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards are sponsored by the Fleur du Cap wine brand. At inception in 1965, the awards were known as the Three Leaf Awards, becoming the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards in 1978 to celebrate one of Distell’s leading wine brands. The panel of judges, chaired by a non-voting chairperson, is made up largely of local critics, journalists, writers and drama educators and comprises Africa Melane, Dr Beverley Brommert, Eugene Yiga, Lwando Scott, Marina Griebenow, Maurice Carpede, Peggy Mongoato, Tracey Saunders and Dr Wayne Muller.

Nominees and winners are chosen from productions performed at professional theatre venues in and around Cape Town. Theatre practitioners are recognised for acting, directing, staging and technical ability. For musical theatre productions and opera, the casts on opening night are considered. The full list of nominees per category is available on the Fleur du Cape website.


The outstanding production of Matilda the Musical (produced by Pieter Toerien Productions and GWB Entertainment) earned a nomination for Best Production, alongside Endgame, Curse of the Starving Class, Kudu and Womb of Fire. The production collected a further ten nominations, including three in the category of Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical or Music Theatre Show: Bethany Dickson, who offered a masterclass in emotion as Miss Honey; Claire Taylor, who played the deliciously dreadful Mrs Wormwood with style; and Nompumelelo Mayiyane, whose presence as the endearing librarian, Mrs Phelps, left a lasting impression on local audiences.

Further acting nominations were garnered by Cameron Seear (Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show) as Bruce Bogtrotter, the character that kicks off one of the flagship numbers of the show, “Revolting Children,” as well as Ryan de Villiers (Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show) for his astounding musical theatre debut as Miss Trunchbull and Kitty Harris (Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical or Music Theatre Show) for her memorable turn as Matilda.

In the design categories, nods were given to Rob Howell (Best Costume Design and Best Set Design), Simon Baker (Best Sound Design) and Hugh Vanstone (Best Lighting Design).

Original South African works also earned their fair share of nominations, with Tsotsi the Musical receiving eight nominations, and Calling Us Home and Langarm three apiece. The lack of writing nominations for any of these new productions perhaps reflects the long journey ahead for local musical theatre pieces before they can hold their own as dramatic works in the South African theatre landscape.

Tsotsi the Musical, however, already has one award in the bag, with Janni Younge and Craig Leo having earned the single nomination in the Best Puppetry Design category. The strongly designed production will also compete for Best Costume Design (Noluthando Lobese Moropa), Best Sound Design (Marcel Bezuidenhout) and Best Set Design (Michael Mitchell and Neil Coppen). The balance of the nominations were for Kgomotso Matsunyane as Miriam and Thembisile Ntaka as Adedola (both for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical or Music Theatre Show), Msizi Njapha as Boston (for Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show) and Mxolisi (Zuluboy) Majozi as Tsotsi (for Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show).

Calling Us Home

The best hope for Calling Us Home winning an award is the luminous Lynelle Kenned (Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical or Music Theatre Show), who played Grace in this second iteration of the production that debuted as Calling Me Home in Johannesburg. Conroy Scott (who played Ivan) and Musanete Sakupwanya (who played Nelson) received nominations for Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show and Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show respectively.

The strongest contender from Langarm is Elton Landrew, the sole nominee from the show in the Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show category. His nuanced performance as Eddie mined David Kramer’s script and score for both comedy and pathos. In the category for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical or Music Theatre Show, Kim Louis, who played Dinah and returned to the professional stage following two decades out of the spotlight, will go head-to-head against Rushney Ferguson, who stepped into her first leading lady role as Angelina in the production.

West Side Story 2015-2018

Earning nominations as replacements in returning productions were Carmen Pretorius, as Maria in The Sound of Music, for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical or Music Theatre Show; Kevin Hack as Tony in West Side Story, for Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show. Dueling it out in the category for Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show will be Daniel Mpilo Richards as Bernardo in West Side Story and Desmond Dube as Pop in King Kong.

A further musical theatre production, Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer’s Alice in Wonderland, has been nominated in the category for Best Theatre Production for Children and Young People.

This year’s ceremony will take place on Sunday, 10 March at 17:30, promising to offer an evening celebrating Vintage theatre and wines. Mbongeni N. Mtshali will direct the ceremony, with José Dias serving as musical director. Africa Melane, returns to host the evening with a variety of co-presenters who have been recipients of the Innovation in Theatre and Encore Awards in the past decade. Winners are chosen from productions performed at professional theatre venues in and around Cape Town. The winners of the Lifetime Achievement and Innovation in Theatre awards will also be named at the ceremony.

Tickets for the ceremony are available at R250 per person. Bookings can be made at online at Computicket, by phone on 0861 915 8000, or in person at any Shoprite Checkers outlet as well as the Artscape Box Office on 021 410 9838 and Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.

Time to go INTO THE WOODS at Theatre on the Bay

PInto the Woodsieter Toerien Productions and KickstArt Theatre will present James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at Theatre on the Bay, starting 30 January. Proclaimed as a sleek and sexy beast of a musical, Into the Woods is by turns moody, magical, witty and wise, and promises to offer the exhilarating theatrical experience that audiences have come to expect from Sondheim, the co-creator of musical masterpieces such as Sweeney Todd and West Side Story.

Into the Woods follows the trials and adventures of a baker (Earl Gregory) and his wife (Jessica Sole), whose paths cross with a witch (Kate Normington) and a host of of well-known fairy-tale characters, including Cinderella (Haylea Heyns), Rapunzel (LJ Neilson), Jack (Graham Wicks) and Little Red Riding Hood (Megan Rigby) as they all go into the deep and dark woods on separate quests that intersect with sometimes amusing, sometimes alarming results.

But Into the Woods is no children’s tale. The musical is is a wicked and wonderful cautionary fairy tale for adults that will delight and haunt audiences as it explores what it means to be human, to long for something other, to wish for something more than what you have, and to deal with the inevitable loss and the terrible beauty that this journey through the world offers us.

The show features a dazzling score, with ravishing melodies and seductive rhythms. Boasting one of the cleverest and most complex set of lyrics ever written for musical theatre, this is Sondheim at his very best, offering South African audiences a very rare opportunity to revel in his wisdom and originality.

Directed by Steven Stead and designed by Greg King, the production will have musical  supervision by Drew Rienstra, costume design by Neil Harris and lighting design by Tina le Roux. The company is rounded out by  Dianne Simpson as Cinderella’s Stepmother and Granny, Sarah Richard as Florinda, Ashleigh Harvey as Lucinda, Candice Van Litsenborgh as Jack’s Mother, Zak Hendricks as The Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince, as Rapunzel, Nathan Kruger as Rapunzel’s Prince, Schoeman Smit as The Steward and Michael Richard as The Narrator and The Mysterious Man.

Into the Woods is booking through 2 March, with tickets ranging in price from R175 – R375 available at Computicket. Providing both intellectual and emotional satisfaction, Into the Woods has all the allure of the fairy tale. Both mysterious and whimsical, it tells of love, loss, desire, hope – and revenge. Although its roots are deeply planted in old folk tales, Into the Woods offers a rich harvest of ideas – the kind of production that appears only once in a blue moon.

Musical Theatre Nominees Named for 2018 BroadwayWorld South Africa Awards

Camelot 2018BroadwayWorld has announced the nominees for its 2018 regional awards programme. The awards are presented annually to productions running from the start of October of the previous year until the end of September of the current year, with nominees being reader-submitted and the winners decided by a public vote. Sponsored by BroadwayHD, the awards are open to different kinds of productions in several different categories.

The musical theatre nominees, per category are as follows:

Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Ashleigh Harvey (Avenue Q)
  • Emma Kingston (Evita)
  • Didintle Khunou (The Color Purple)
  • Carmen Pretorius (The Sound of Music)
  • Jessica Sole (Camelot)
  • Claire Taylor (Rock of Ages)

Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Lyle Buxton (Camelot)
  • Kevin Hack (West Side Story)
  • Jonathan Roxmouth (Evita)
  • Jonathan Roxmouth (Great Balls of Fire)
  • Jonathan Roxmouth (Lenny, Andrew, Steve and Me)
  • Steven Stead (Camelot)

West Side Story (2018)Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Anne-Marie Clulow (Camelot)
  • Isabella Jane (Evita)
  • Zandile Madliwa (Aunty Merle – The Musical)
  • Tankiso Mamabolo (Aunty Merle – The Musical)
  • Mpumelelo Mayiyane (Rock of Ages)
  • Natasha van der Merwe (Rock of Ages)

Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Robert Finlayson (Evita)
  • Michael Fullard (West Side Story)
  • Anton Luitingh (Evita)
  • Michael McMeeking (The Sound of Music)
  • Schoeman Smit (Rock of Ages)
  • Craig Urbani (Great Balls of Fire)

Best Director of a Musical

  • Neil Coppen and Khayelihle Dom Gumede (Tsotsi: The Musical)
  • Janice Honeyman (The Colour Purple)
  • Timothy le Roux (Avenue Q)
  • Harold Prince (Evita)
  • Steven Stead (Camelot)
  • John van Grinsven (Tina – Simply the Best)

Best Revival of a Musical

  • Buddy – the Buddy Holly Story
  • Camelot
  • Evita

Aunty MerleBest Musical

  • Avenue Q
  • The Color Purple
  • Rock of Ages
  • Snip/Tucked
  • Tina – Simply the Best
  • Tsotsi: The Musical

Further musical theatre nominees can be seen in the categories for Best Choreography (Janine Bennewith for Camelot, CAMELOT (Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre), Weslee Swain Lauder for Rock of Ages, Thandazile Radebe for Tsotsi – the Musical and Grant van Ster for Aunty Merle – the Musical), Best Ensemble Performance (Camelot and Rock of Ages) and Best New Work (Great Balls of Fire).

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Should you wish to cast your vote for your favourites, visit BroadwayWorld South Africa before 31 December and select your favourites in each category. The winners will be announced in January.


10 Days Left to Snap Up The Fugard’s KINKY BOOTS Early Birds Special

Kinky BootsEric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre will present a brand new, original production of Kinky Boots, the smash-hit musical by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper. With performances set to run from 11 June 2019, The Fugard is offering musical theatre lovers the chance to snap up a fabulous early bird ticket special until 31 October 2018.

This early bird special, which is exclusively available by contacting The Fugard Theatre’s box office by phone on 021 461 4554  or by email, enables audiences to purchase four premium priced tickets, regularly priced at R470 per ticket, at only R300 per ticket for performances after 27 June 2019.

Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, who has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, Price & Son, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair find that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible, and discover that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

The Fugard Theatre’s Kinky Boots is brought to Cape Town audiences by the same creative team behind the Fugard Theatre productions of The Rocky Horror ShowCabaretFunny Girl and West Side Story. Direction is by Matthew Wild, with musical direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and choreography by Louisa Talbot.