national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, November 27, 2014


At a glittering awards ceremony on Monday (November 24) at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, The Mercury Durban Theatre Awards were presented to those who had excelled in their individual skills in the judging year.
The awards were hosted by radio, television and media personality, Terence Pillay, and considered only those productions originating in Durban and presented during the period October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014. These productions represent the genres of drama and comedy, musical theatre, music revue / cabaret, and children’s theatre. There were 37 productions vying for honours, an increase in excess of 25% of the number of productions considered last year, an indication of the creative output generated throughout the year.
KickstArt swept the board and received the major number of awards for their productions Sweeney Todd, Jack and the Beanstalk and Annie.
Sweeney Todd received awards for Poster Design (Shirley Berko); Sound Design (Jackie Cunniffe): Lighting Design (Tina le Roux) and Set Design (Greg King).
In the category of Musical Theatre, the Sweeney Todd awardees were Supporting Actor (Bryan Hiles); Lead Actress (Charon Williams-Ros); Lead Actor (Jason Ralph);  Musical Director (Shelley McLean & Justin Southey); Director (Steven Stead) and Musical Theatre Production (KickstArt)
KickstArt’s Jack And The Beanstalk took all the awards in the Children’s Theatre category: Supporting Actress (Shelley McLean);  Supporting Actor (Bryan Hiles); Lead Actress (Liesl Coppin); Lead Actor (Darren King); Director (Steven Stead) and Children’s Theatre Production.
KickstArt’s Annie received the Choreography Award for Janine Bennewith.
In the Musical Theatre category, the Playhouse Company’s production of West Side Story honoured Sarah Roberts for Costume Design and Nurit Graff as Supporting Actress.
The Glitter Girls - Lisa Bobbert, Liesl Coppin and Marion Loudon - received the award for Music Revue Production while Liesl Coppin won the Performer: Music Revue / Cabaret award for her role in this production.
In the Drama category; Sivani Chinappan received the award for New Performer – Female for her performance in Polart Production’s one-woman show A Cookie in the Kitchen.
Dear Breeder received the award for New South Africa Script for Karen Logan and Kasia Vosloo while Karen Logan was voted Comedic Performance by a Female for her role in this production.
Mthokozisi Zulu received the Supporting Actor award for his role in Super Mokoena.
Aaron McIlroy was voted Comedic Performance by a Male for The Seven Deadly Sins and Bryan Hiles received the award for Solo Performance for Jakob.
Mbongeni Ngema received the award for Lead Actor:  Drama/Comedy for his role in his production of The Zulu.
Taking the major awards in the Drama/Comedy category was Its Taboo Productions’ Dear Mrs Steyn with Lead Actress:(Alison Cassels); Director (Thomie Holtzhausen) and Drama/Comedy Production.
Actress and director Kumseela Naidoo was voted the Mercury Personality of the Year. Richard Haslop, musician and human resources lawyer, was presented with the Monica Fairall Memorial Award and the Judges Award went to Roland Stansell who is the main driving force of the Rhumbelow Theatre.
The Mercury Durban Theatre Awards is grateful for the generosity of its sponsors and partners supporting this year’s awards ceremony, most of whom have the supported the awards over the past 12 years. Without such support this event would not take place.
Principal sponsors are media partner The Mercury, Bartel Arts Trust, The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Monica Fairall Memorial Trust, DarkHorse Productions, Stuart Edwards & Company, Publicity Matters, Sunshine Factory, Troubadour Productions, Black Coffee Design, ClaviTech, artSMart, Val Adamson Photography and KZN Autocue Services.
Supporting this award system since its inception in 2003 is the Bartel Arts Trust. This trust was established in 1992 through a bequest of the late Hugo Bartel, a wealthy industrialist with a passion for the arts. The trust sponsors community arts projects, artists, arts projects and student bursaries. The trust established the BAT Centre in 1996 which became a hub of the performing and visual arts in Durban. In addition to the theatre awards the trust currently sponsors the Durban Music School, Durban University of Technology Department of Fine Art, the Phansi Museum and several student bursaries in visual and performing arts.