The 12th annual Naledi Theatre Awards will see a star-studded selection of performers and presenters entertain and honour stalwarts and spectacular newcomers of the South African stage.
Taking place on Tuesday, 19 April at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, the Naledi Theatre Awards promise to be bigger and better this year. “Our entertainment line-up is very special,” says Executive Director, Dawn Lindberg. Special indeed, as Grammy Award winners Wouter Kellerman and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are set to delight the audience.
“I’m very much looking forward and feel very privileged to share my music with the theatre community,” says flautist and composer, Kellerman. “I feel that in music, there is an underlying sense of theatre – and this is a great opportunity to share common themes like storytelling, passion and emotive expression.”
But these world-famous artists won’t be the only ones taking a bow on the night. “For the first time we have the full Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company, conducted by Eddie Clayton,” says Lindberg. “All music has been specially arranged for the event and singers will perform to live music.” Other all-star entertainers include Candida Mosoma from Sister Act; Sharon Spiegel Wagner from I’m Playing Your Song; Somizi Mhlongo of Idols fame; Jonathan Roxmouth and Charon Williams-Ros, who will perform a spoof from Sweeney Todd together; and Timothy Moloi who will perform The Impossible Dream.
Critically acclaimed and SAMA-nominated recording artist, Timothy Moloi says he is honoured to be performing at the 2016 Awards. “The Naledi Awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise excellence in the theatre industry and showcase the amazing work that has taken place over the past year,” he says. “It is also one of the highlights of the local social calendar, when people involved in all aspects of the performing arts get a chance to come together to celebrate the successes of the year gone by.”
An esteemed cast of presenters will also join the Award-winners beneath the spotlight. Comedian, Mark Banks will emcee the event with radio and TV star Bridget Masinga, while over 30 Awards will be presented by local celebrities like Nataniël, Tobie Cronje, Maps Maponyane, Tema Sebopedi, Motlatsi Mafatshe, Atandwa Kani, Naledi’s Chairman Dali Tambo and other luminaries from the stage and screen.
First-time presenter, Maps Maponyane says he eagerly awaits the night. “It’s always great to be a part of the celebration of people who work so hard at their craft,” the television presenter, actor, fashion designer and business entrepreneur says. “I’m really looking forward to the actual show, to see who wins and of course to watch the performances, which I’m sure will be great.”
Denise Goldin, presenter of the Best Newcomer Award, and mother of the late Brett Goldin says this year’s Awards hold special importance for her. “This is the 10th year anniversary of Brett’s untimely and unnecessary death, and so it has great significance for me,” she says. “He was taken from us in 2006, on 16 April, just three days before this year’s Naledi’s.”
“Each year I am overwhelmed with gratitude that not only is he being remembered, but that a young actor is being recognised for his or her talent, as my son surely would have been,” says Goldin. She offers huge praise and gratitude to Executive Directors Dawn and Des Lindberg, for the enormous effort they put in each year to make the Awards a reality. “Dawn and Des are to be applauded for their perseverance in keeping the Naledi’s alive, their contribution to this is enormous, both personally and financially. There is no other event that gives reward, recognition and acknowledgement to our actors. This is the highlight of the performers’ year and gives them something to strive for, to look forward to and hopefully to participate in,” Goldin concludes.
But Lindberg says the long nights and endless phone calls are all worth it. “We are truly proud that the Naledi’s holds a shining mirror to excellence in SA theatre and that the nominations for productions staged in 2015 reflect the diversity of our industry and showcase the sort of productions that attract our burgeoning audiences who buy tickets, come to the theatre and applaud the work,” says Lindberg.
For more information, visit www.naleditheatreawards.org.za