Playwright to direct awards

Mbongeni N Mtshali will direct the 54th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards.

A Walmer Estate man will direct the prestigious 54th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards ceremony at the Artscape Theatre this Sunday.

Mbongeni N Mtshali, 36, is a Fulbright scholar currently in doctoral candidacy for a PhD in performance studies at the Northwestern University in Chicago.

He is the founder and creative director of Shortened Tongue Contemporary Art+Lab, an experimental performance company, and he teaches in the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at UCT.

The show salutes Cape Town’s top theatre performers, performances and those behind the scenes.

This year’s Fleur du Cap will also feature performances by Dr Dizu Plaatjies, Nomfundo Xaluva, José Dias, Sibonele Dance Group, Township Opera Company and Zip Zap Circus. CapeTalk presenter Africa Melane will host the evening with a variety of co-presenters

Mtshali, himself, won a Fleur du Cap in 2016 for best new director for directing In (S)kin, which he also wrote.

Melanie Burke, chairperson of the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards, said she had first noticed Mtshali’s work when she saw In (S)kin.

“I especially love how his contemporary style easily builds on the past, bringing it into the present and allowing it to move towards a yet unscripted future,”she said.

About 1 000 guests are expected to attend the awards ceremony.

Mtshali said directing it entailed “juggling” many moving parts.

“There are many little bits
that have to be considered for
the night. Handing out awards,
after all, is the primary objective, but the engine thing has to be held together by a single creative vision,” he said.

Directing an awards show, he said, was different to directing a theatre or dance show.

“It’s madness for a few days as we stitch the different bits together and problem solve, get the rhythm and technical aspects right and then it’s showtime!”

Tickets for the Fleur du Cap
can be booked through Computicket, the Artscape Box Office 021 410 9838 and Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695.