The National Arts Festival organisers has promised audiences that they can look forward to some award-winning experiences at the Festival this year. Some of the Naledi Award winners will be performing at #NAF18 and various shows from previous years have also received recognition. The Naledi Theatre Awards, now in its 14th year, aims to recognise and reward excellence in South African theatre, recognising performers, designers, production teams and staging crews.
Mike van Graan‘s play When Swallows Cry, which will be performed at the National Arts Festival, was the top theatre winner at the Naledi Awards ceremony in Johannesburg, garnering best production, best new South African script as well as earning Lesedi Job the award for best director of a play.
When Swallows Cry is a hard-hitting trilogy of playlets that explores the inequities and layered complexities of contemporary global mobility, particularly from African perspectives. Directed by Lesedi Job, the talented cast comprises Mbulelo Grootboom, Marty Kintu and Kai Luke Brummer, all of whom are challenged to play three contrasting characters in the three inter-spliced stories.
Richard Antrobus‘s The Cloud Catcher won the Naledi Award Best Theatre for Young Audiences. Catch this delightful children’s solo adventure performed by Avril Cummings as part of the Children’s Theatre line-up at NAF this year.
Andrew Buckland and Jennifer Steyn both won Best Performance for their roles in Lara Foot’s The Inconvenience of Wings, which premiered in Grahamstown in 2016 when Foot was the inaugural Featured Artist.
Other winners seen at the National Arts Festival last year were Gideon Lombard for Die Reuk van Appels and Khutjo Green, who won best supporting actress for Tartuffe. The Molière masterpiece, directed by Sylvaine Strike, also won the cast the best ensemble award as well as best costume design for Sarah Ehlers.