Excitement, expectations and tensions are always palpable for the annual Cape Amateur Theatre Awards (CATA) evening. And Monday night was no exception as, in glamorous attire, guests and nominees sipped wine and chatted avidly before filing into the Masque Theatre’s auditorium. Once hush descended, retiring panellist chairman Dennis Benneyworth bade everyone welcome, introduced guest of honour Ruth Allsopp, incoming panellist chairman Lynn Moss and panellists Barrie Howard, Kyla Thorburn, Brenda Gray, Yvonne Copley, Fiona Chisholm (outgoing panellist) and Andrew Weiss who then took over as master of ceremonies.
Although 2014 Cape Amateur Theatre Awards were reasonably spread between the 25 productions presented by various dramatic societies, once again Cape Town’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society led the field by reaping five awards for Oklahoma!
Teddy Davies took home the coveted Joseph Manca Cup for Best Director of a Musical. Roxy Levy won the Jill Cooke Cup for (ballet) Choreography. Werner Wiln received the Downey Cup as Best Actor in a Musical. A Merit Certificate went to Jason October as Best Newcomer in a Musical and Neil Leachman took home the Tony Stiglingh Cup for being the Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.
Constantia Theatre Players tied with newcomer Legend Productions and Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society by each gaining four awards. Constantia Theatre Players’ production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof won the Sol Rodsell Cup for Best Play. The Doris Tansley Cup for Best Actress in a Play was won by Jennifer Moss. Pamela Burger received a Merit Certificate as Best Supporting Actress in a Play. Stephan Fourie won the Harry Hargreaves Cup for Best Set.
In The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Legend Productions Marzanne Kriek carried home the Walter Swanson Trophy for Best Actress in a Musical. Stephan Fourie accepted Estelle Knott Craig Trophy for Technical Excellence for his Effects. The Dolores Spijkers Award for Best Costumes went to Corrie Luijk. The Hunchback of Notre Dame also won the auspicious Cape Times Cup for being the Most Adventurous Production.
Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society’s Annie won the Marcia Lawton Cup for being the Best Musical. Nicolette Fernandes won a Merit Certificate as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. In the Society’s Amadeus production Richard Higgs won the Geoffrey Tansley Cup for Best Actor in a Play.
Darryl Spijkers’s direction of To Kill a Mocking Bird won him the Bertie Stern Cup as Best Director of a Play.
Jay Heale of Claremont Dramatic Society won the Fiona Chisholm Cup for Best Cameo in a Play (Quartet). Angela Lee-Wright of Masque Theatre Players won a Merit Certificate for Best Cameo in a Musical (Once Upon a Time Dot Com). The Imps Shield for Best Newcomer in a Play went to Floris Baker of Milnerton Players (Don’t Dress for Dinner). Alastair Duff of Muizenberg Amateur Dramatic Society received Richard Farmer’s Cup for Best Supporting Actor in a Play (Flat Spin).
Benneyworth then thanked all who made the 2014 productions possible, introduced Willy Sass and Roland Perold the two new panellists then took his farewell, after serving eight years, as CATA chairman.
To conclude formal proceedings Lynn Moss, unexpectedly, presented Benneyworth the most sought after award….CODS Cup for Outstanding Achievement in Amateur Theatre.
In between awards, three video clips entertained guests, after which wine and a finger supper gave everyone time to celebrate an exceptionally well orchestrated evening.
By Sheila Chisholm
Sourced from Cape Times