Publisher wins theatre award

Andisiwe Mgibantaka and Robin Malan of Junkets Publisher received the Special Award for Innovation in Theatre when the 55th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards were announced last month.

Robin Malan, author, compiler and publisher of Junkets Publisher, has had a good couple of weeks.

First, Robin celebrated his 80th birthday on April 11. It was “Lockdown80” as he was all on his own in his apartment in Pinelands Grove retirement complex.

There were, however, lots of phone calls and emails, and, he says, “My passage-neighbour Eva made me a cake that I could share with my other passage-neighbours, even though masked and at arm’s length in their doorways!”

Then, on Monday May 18, it was announced online that Junkets Publisher, Robin and Andisiwe Mgibantaka, had received the Special Award for Innovation in Theatre at the 55th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards.

In no time at all, his Facebook page had clocked up well over 100 well-wishing comments.

On that very same day, Robin took receipt of copies of his new book from the printer.

This is titled along the way to where, sub-titled 80 years. The book was intended to coincide with his 80th birthday. National lockdown skewed that a little bit, but, as soon as the printers got back to work, they worked hard to produce the book as quickly as possible.

Robin founded Junkets Publisher 15 years ago, in 2005, and a couple of years later started publishing low-cost playscripts of the work of mainly young and emerging playwrights working in non-mainstream venues.

By the end of July 2020, they will have published 62 individual playscripts, 10 of which are the winners of the annual Zabalaza Theatre Festival run by the Baxter Theatre Centre.

There are also 10 anthologies of plays in The Collected Series, some specifically educational; and a strong showing of books of LGBTIQA+ interest.

“I am deeply honoured that Junkets Publisher has received the Innovation in Theatre Award,” said Andisiwe, from Philippi.

“Thank you to Distell and the panel of judges for recognising our existence and the work that we do. This gives us strength to do more.”

Robin’s book along the way to where is a collection of poems and prose that range over his life and times: sometimes serious reflections, sometimes more light-hearted moments and anecdotes.

To buy a copy in this period of lockdown, send an email to info.junkets@iafrica.com