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Several Market Theatre productions won Naledi Awards, with Death of a Colonialist and The Girl in the Yellow Dress picking up several statuettes.
A HOST of Naledi Awards went to thespians, producers and the like whose shows have been staged at the Market Theatre, an impressive achievement for Joburg’s legendary theatre complex.


Lifetime achievement award for EvitaLifetime achievement award for EvitaAbout six shows produced by the theatre itself bagged accolades, and a dozen other productions seen on its stages won a convincing number of awards.

The eighth Naledi Awards, the annual awards for the theatre arts, took place at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City, on 7 March. It was a night of glitz and glamour as the big names in arts and entertainment turned up.

Best production of a play went to Death of a Colonialist, which was produced by the Market Theatre, written by Greg Latter and directed by Craig Freimond. The Butcher Brothers won best cutting-edge production. It was originally produced by Dark Laugh and was directed by Sylvaine Strike.

The best new South African play or musical went to The Girl in the Yellow Dress, which was also produced by the Market and was directed by the complex’s artistic director, Malcolm Purkey. It was written by Craig Higginson.

Marianne Oldham was named best actress in a lead role for her portrayal of the English teacher in The Girl in the Yellow Dress. Best performance by an actor in a lead role (play) was won by Jamie Barlett for his portrayal of the veteran teacher Harold Smith in Death of a Colonialist.

James Borthwick won best performance in a musical (male) for his portrayal of Juan Peron in Evita. Best actress in a musical went to Angela Kilian, for the title role in Evita.

Freimond, Purkey and Mpho Molepo, whose shows have been seen at the Market, were nominated for best director of a play or musical; however, Freimond took home the statuette for Death of a Colonialist.


Songs of Migration: winner of best theatre sound designSongs of Migration: winner of best theatre sound designBudding actor Nat Ramabulana won best performance by an actor in a supporting role/cameo for his work in Master Harold and the Boys. The award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role/cameo went to Kate Normington for her contribution to Mamma Mia.

Purkey said the Market was thrilled by the number of nominations and wins for its plays. “The Market Theatre was very, very happy with the wins, two in important productions in particular – Death of a Colonialist and The Girl in the Yellow Dress. “We were also delighted to be mentioned and talked about many times,” he added.

The lifetime achievement award went to Evita Bezuidenhout and the executive director’s award was given to Lefra Productions for its promotion of Afrikaans theatre.

Best original choreography went to David Gouldie for Evita and best theatre lighting design was awarded to Jannie Swanepoel and Gareth Hewitt Williams for the same production. The best costume design award was given to Penny Simpson, also for Evita, and the best theatre set design went to Johan Engels for The Boys in the Photograph. The best theatre sound design went to Freddy Malesa’s Songs of Migration.

The Naledis are designed to promote local theatre, and recognise and reward theatre practitioners for their excellence and contribution to the performing arts.

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