Cape Amateur Theatre Awards (CATA) Once again the red carpet, balloons, bunting and bubbly brought a rich festive atmosphere to Milnerton Playhouse as elegantly attired guests arrived to attend the 2019 Cape Amateur Theatre Awards (CATA) evening.  This annual event generates much excitement as, until panellists Yvonne Copley,  Bryon Bure, Ann Coetzee, James Skilton, Wayne Hendricks and Roche Haupt-Buckle, led by chairperson Wesley Figaji announce, from the nominees, who has proven especially worthy to receive a silver cup, trophy, shield or certificate of excellence, recipients’ names are kept strictly under wraps.

The reasoning behind CATA awards is to encourage excellence and should never be regarded as competition between thespians. Therefore, it is important to take note that under Figaji, each production now receives feedback on observations panellists consider helpful towards assisting community theatre societies to continue their upward climb to greater theatrical heights.

In his customary elegant and polished fashion Mark Jennings – Fine Music Radio’s station manager – acted as master of ceremonies. Guest of honour, Brendan van Rhyn, aka Cathy Specific from Gate 69, with his/her inimitable panache handed out awards. In between which guests were entertained to three delightful skits –  a  song by David Wilke, a tongue twister chorus from Hairspray, and that famous nude, but not nude, photographic scene  from Calendar Girls.

Cape Amateur Theatre Awards (CATA)

In 2019 CLAREMONT DRAMATIC SOCIETY won 10 awards over three productions.

EDUCATING RITA won four: Lead Actress in a Play (Doris Tansley Cup) –  Jaime Uranovsky; Lead Actor in a Play (Geoffrey Tansley Cup) –  Nick Plummer;  Director of a Play (Bertie Stern Cup) – Lynn Moss;  Best Play. (So Rodsell Cup)

For THE WOMAN IN BLACK:  Technical Excellence  – Sound Effects (The Estelle Knott-Craig Shield) – went to David Wilke, Mvelo Shandu; Most Promising Newcomer (Non-Acting)  –  David Wilke – Direction (Susan Small Trophy); Most Adventurous Play (The Cape Times Cup)

ROMEO & JULIET won three awards: Best Supporting Actress in a Play (Vaughan and Shelagh Bolton Trophy) –  Jana Botha; Best Supporting Actor in a Play (Richard Farmer Cup) – Graham Boxall; Certificate of Excellence: Willie Blignaut for realistic fight scene and choreography.

PINELANDS PLAYERS won 10 awards for HAIRSPRAY. The awards were: Artistic Contribution (Jill Cooke Cup)- Choreography Laura Bosman, Jared Schaedler; Costumes (Dolores Spijkers Trophy) –  Caryn Kingwell, Laura Bosman, Tina Gough;  Cameo Performance (Fiona Chisholm Cup) –  Matthew Kingwell;  Junior Performance (under 18)  -Thato Sotashe, Thandi Govender;  Most Promising Newcomer – (Acting) (Imps Shield): Kristina Burge;   Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Byron Bure Academy of Theatre Arts Trophy) –  Bryony Bosman;  Best Supporting Actor in a Musical (Tony Stiglingh Cup) – Braeden Buys;   Lead Actress in a Musical (Walter Swanson Cup)-  Kristina Buys;

Director of a Musical (Joseph Manca Cup) –  Neil Leachman;  Certificates of Excellence For their outstanding The Dynamites –  Buhle Vilakazi, Grace Bakula, Amarach Vazidule.

G&S for SOUTH PACIFIC took home: Lead Actor in Musical (Downey Cup- Stephan le Roux;  Musical Director (Sheila Chisholm Trophy) – Alastair Cockburn;  Best Musical (Marcia Lawton Cup); Certificates of Excellence were awarded to  Comedy Trio worthy of the Marx Brothers: Neil Leachman, Robert Shenton, Jan Mostert; Chorus in the Thanksgiving concert scene for creating and maintaining a realistic concert; The entire Chorus for consistent character performance throughout; Riaan Hunter for his performance of “This Nearly Was Mine”

Cape Amateur Theatre Awards (CATA)

MILNERTON PLAYERS for AND THEN WHAT?  Best Set (Harry Hargreaves Cup) – Barry Altwig; Certificates of Excellence: The bar patrons for enhancing the bistro atmosphere and remaining in character at all times. And for PUTTING IT TOGETHER: Certificate of Excellence – Barend v.d. Westhuizen for his performance of “Bubby Blues”

CONSTANTIABERG PLAYERS for THE GRADUATE were awarded Junior Performance (under 18) Rosie Thomson. Certificate of Excellence: The backstage crew for excellent teamwork and impressive scene changes. RUN FOR YOUR WIFE: Certificate of Excellence : Tayla Sargent and Tamika Sewnarain for excellent “Telephone Choreography” in opening scene.

Sheila Chisholm (pictured above) won the coveted CODS cup for Outstanding Achievement in Service to Amateur Theatre.

The evening concluded in happy chatter over a glass of wine and tasty nibbles.

What: Cape Amateur Theatre Awards (CATA)