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Wednesday, May 22, 2024



19th Annual Naledi Theatre Awards 2024 for Productions staged during 2023 offered an almost unprecedented high standard of productions across all genres. Judges saw over 88 productions in the Plays and Musicals Category alone.

“When it came to judging this year, the judges were faced with a very difficult task, as the standard of productions we see are competing at the standard aligned with fulfilling the Naledis’ mandate of celebrating excellence in the performing arts,” enthused Renos Spenoudes, Chair of the judging Panel.

Lihan Pretorius, CEO of the awards, agreed, “2023 provided us with truly innovative work, that engages the audience and make us appreciate really superb theatre, in fact, the bar has definitely been raised. What is really exciting, is the standard of tertiary - and school productions, which are proving to be so instrumental in producing the next generation of performers, which is becoming evident in the calibre of the artists we see entering the industry.”

This year’s Awards Ceremony has risen to the challenge and the production was, as always, a most glamorous event. There was a star-studded line up of performers who provided the entertainment on the evening, which includes the likes of Jonathan Roxmouth with the love medley from his hit show, Key Change, I’m Here from Actress, performed by Thalia Kodesh, and Abel Knobel performed My pa se huis from Die Kaplyn.

Daniel Anderson performed Vincent from the musical of the same name. The evening was rounded off by the cast of Lifted – let the blind sing, who performed a medley from this celebrated work.

This Black-Tie event, always a highlight on the Theatre Calendar, would not be possible without the wonderful sponsorships in kind the Naledis receive from their host, The Joburg Theatre, our technical sponsor, Splitbeam, the South African State Theatre, Alan Ford Productions, Cepacol (a brand of Adcock Ingram), Heineken Beverages, Mindpool Productions, Blue Key Digital Marketing, Galore SA Media, Lift Airline, Stageworx, The Buz Hive, the STAND Foundation, WS Pianos, Yihan Brönn Couture and all the volunteers who have helped with the event.

Without these generous contributors, the event would not take place despite very concerted efforts to find a Headline Sponsor for the awards. enthuses Lihan Pretorius, CEO of the Awards, enthuses: “The Naledis are especially proud to be announcing two lifetime achievement awards, which go to Theatre Legends Ismail Mahomed and Paul Ditchfield, and the CEO’s Award for Innovation in Theatre to the Sibikwa Arts Centre.

“The Lesedi Spirit of Courage awards goes to Caleb Swanepoel and the Dawn Lindberg World Impact award goes to the internationally renowned Robyn Orlin. A new award, the STAND Foundation Mohlopi Award (in association with the Naledi Theatre Awards) goes to Gerard Bester.”

The CEO and Board of the Naledi Theatre Awards are proud to announce the Winners of the 2024 Naledi’s for productions staged in 2023 as follows:


Best Production for Children & Young Audiences – Supported By Assitej SA

The Hobbit (National Children's Theatre)


Best Performance In A Production For Young Audiences

Tebogo Molepo (Momo's Magical Adventure - Sandton City and Phly Media)


Best Production: Independent/Fringe Theatre

Born Naked (ZikkaZimba & Hijinks Theatre at IYABUYA iPOPArt Festival, supported by the National Arts Council of South Africa)


Best Performance In An Independent/Fringe Theatre Production

Qondiswa James (Retch The Market Theatre and Qondiswa James)


Best Production: Student Theatre

The Birdcage (St. Stithians College)


Best Performance In A Student Theatre Production

Shane dos Reis (The Birdcage St. Stithians College)


Best Production: Dance, Physical Theatre and Ballet

Kganya (Light) (The South African State Theatre (Kucheza  Afrika  Festival))


Best Choreography in a Dance, Physical Theatre and Ballet Production

Chloe Blair ("Table for two" from Dialogues – Joburg Ballet)


Best Performance in a Dance, Physical Theatre and Ballet Production

Nelmari Bornman (Sins – Kmad Dance Company)


Best Supporting Actress in a Play

Zaza Cala (Imxinwa)


Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Caleb Swanepoel (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)


Best Breakthrough Performance

Daniel Anderson (Vincent)


Best Choreography in a Play or Musical Theatre Production

Natalie Fisher & Sylvaine Strike (The Promise on Stage)


Best Original Score/Musical Soundscape/Arrangements

Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (The Promise on Stage)


Best Musical Director

Jonathan Roxmouth (Key Change)


Best Performance in a Solo Production

Mpume Mthombeni (Isidlamlilo/The Fire Eater)


Best Cabaret/Revue/Small-Scale Musical Production

Vincent (Wê la Kapela Productions)


Best Ensemble in a Musical Theatre Production

Ensemble of We Will Rock You (Showtime Management)


Best Ensemble in a Play

Cast of The Promise – On Stage (Club Dezza Productions & The Market Theatre)


Best Costume Design

Michaeline Wessels (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)


Best Theatre Set and/or AV Design

Josh Lindberg (The Promise –on Stage)


Best Lighting Design

Tina le Roux (Isidlamlilo/The Fire Eater)


Best Sound Design

Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (The Promise – On Stage)


Best Director of a Musical Theatre Production

Aubrey Sekhabi (Sophiatown)


Best Director of a Play

Neil Coppen (Isidlamlilo/The Fire Eater)


Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Theatre Production

Danelle Cronjé (We Will Rock You)


Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Theatre Production

Tiaan Rautenbach (We Will Rock You)


Best Lead Actress in a Musical Theatre Production

Talia Kodesh (Actress)


Best Lead Actor in a Musical Theatre Production

Daniel Anderson (Vincent)


Best Lead Actress in a Play

Cintaine Schutte (Tien Duisend Ton)


Best Lead Actor in a Play

Rob van Vuuren (The Promise –On Stage)


Best New South African Script

Jefferson “J Bobs” Tshabalala (Khongolose Khommanding Khomissars)


Best Production of a Play

Isidlamlilo/The Fire Eater (The Market Theatre, in association with Empatheatre & The National Arts Festival)           


Best Production of a Musical/Musical Theatre Production

We Will Rock You (Showtime Management)





Stand  Mohlopi Award

(presented in partnership with Naledi Theatre Awards) Gerard Bester


CEO's Award for Innovation In Theatre

Sibikwa Arts Centre


Lesedi Spirit of Courage Award

Caleb Swanepoel


Lifetime Achievement Award

Ismail Mahomed


Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul Ditchfield


Dawn Lindberg World Impact Award

Robyn Orlin