Naledi Theatre Awards to be screened on SABC3

Chester Missing and his associate Conrad Koch Pic by ZoomThe prestigious annual Naledi Theatre Awards, which were held in Johannesburg on April 14, will be screened on SABC3 on Saturday, August 22, at 22h30, with a repeat broadcast on Tuesday 25 August at 22.00

The 90-minute show highlights the best of the best in South African theatre productions staged in 2014.

Dawn Lindberg, Founder and Executive Director of the Naledi Awards, said this was a TV coup because the South African public rarely get to see the best of the best in entertainment and diversity on stage at one time. She thanked SABC3 for its vision and support of SA Live Professional Theatre.

The Naledi Awards, recognise and honour excellence in professional theatre, and is the biggest and most highly anticipated event of the year. It’s a fitting showcase to what South Africa has to offer in the field of theatre.

Highlights include Marikana- The Musical receiving no fewer than 13 nominations and six awards.

Another highlight is the appearance of Topthorn, from the internationally critically acclaimed and award-winning musical WarHorse, a gigantic horse puppet, operated by a team of talented puppeteers from Cape Town, which was created by South Africa’s own Handspring Puppet Theatre. Audiences world-wide connected with Topthorn and Joey’s emotional journey through the horrors of World War 1. It’s appearance at the finale of this year’s Awards’ event and presented by newly crowned Miss SA, Liesl Laurie brought the audience to their feet.

TV audiences can also expect to enjoy a variety of entertainment from Michael Riff Thema performing the song Happy from Peter Pan to the indomitable PJ Powers.

There are hot items from ShooWop Shop, the Vuyani Dance Company, renowned performers Keith Smith, Timothy Moloi, Janelle Visagie and a segment from Swan Lake performed by the Joburg Ballet.

The MC’s were popular TV presenter, poet and actress Lebo Mashile and the famous Chester Missing, a puppet whose curt comments on matters political have sent the Nation into stitches. To add a slice of beefcake to the proceedings, Mr South Africa, Armand du Plessis and runner up, Sibusiso Sibanda brought on the trophies.

Celebrity presenters included Kgomotso Christopher, Jack Devnarain and Aubrey Poo from Isidingo, Sylvaine Strike and Zuraida Jardine from Clover’s Little Big Cook Off.

Twenty-five awards were handed out on the night, each carrying a trophy made of crystal. One of the highlights was the Lifetime achievement award presented to Shaleen Surtie-Richards, an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the arts.

The event was shot and edited by Clive Morris Productions from a 2.20 hour live event, staged and directed by Dawn Lindberg, to a slick and sharp 72 minute special which SABC3 have endorsed as deserving of exposure on National television.

Dali Tambo, Chairman of the Naledi Awards for 11 years said: “The Naledi Awards hold a mirror to what is happening in South Africa both socially and politically and we are proud to be witness to the world class excellence of our new script writers, directors and producers who highlight the transformation of Live theatre in SA as well as new young voices rising up at a rate with no load shedding at all in their daring and success!”

Ismail Mahomed, Artistic Director of the National Festival of the Arts and also a prominent Board member of Naledi said “Theatre and the Arts Internationally cannot sustain itself without considerable funding support from Government structures such as Dept. of Arts and Culture, National Arts Council and the Lottery. Naledi wishes to extend its gratitude to its major sponsor over the past 3 years, Auto & General Insurance (facilitated by Arts Activist, Carolyn Steyn), Distell, BASA, DWR lighting distribution, Dream Sets, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) for bringing Topthorn to SA from Dubai, the Market Theatre for sponsoring the Best Emerging Voice Award, the State Theatre for sponsoring “Best New SA Script and in particular, Tsogo Sun and the Lyric Theatre for a massive sponsorship in Kind by providing their magnificent theatre at Gold Reef City for the past 4 years”.

The whole of South African can now sit back in the comfort of their homes and appreciate a phenomenal production that reflects the range, depth and diversity of Proudly South African talent. Find it on SABC3 on Saturday, 22nd August at 22:30

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