The musical show The Lion King was named The Repertory Players (Reps) best production of 2018 at the annual Reps Afdis Awards ceremony, held on Saturday (March 2) at Reps Theatre in Harare.
The awards are held each year to honour effort and achievement in productions staged by The Repertory Players, with additional awards to honour people making a significant contribution in support areas to the well-being of one of the Zimbabwe’s oldest theatrical societies.
The Lion King’s director, Mario Ciampi, and its stage manager, Ryan Lawrence, collected the best production award from Donna Marowa of African Distillers, which has sponsored the annual awards event for 15 years.
The Repertory Players was established in 1931 and opened Reps Theatre in 1960. The society stages a number of its own productions during the year, either on the theatre’s main stage or in its more intimate Theatre Upstairs.
Productions staged during 2018 included Ah Yes We Remember Them Well, Mrs Brown’s Boys, My Brilliant Divorce, The Signs, The Lion King, West End-Broadway, Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue and Pinocchio.
The full list of main awards for 2018: best production – The Lion King; best director – Graham Crutchley (My Brilliant Divorce), best actress – Sue Bolt (My Brilliant Divorce), best actor – Paul Shephard (The Lion King), best supporting actress – Amy Bolt (Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue); best supporting actor – Tendai Madzviti (The Lion King) ; best stage properties – Linda Hyde (Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue); best stage management – Kyla Render (Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue); best technical – Brendon Lake (sound design for Mr Brilliant Divorce); best comedy performance – Larry Greeff (Mrs Brown’s Boys); most outstanding musical performance – Linda Mnkandla (West End-Broadway) ; best performance in a minor role – Mutsa Nyadundu (Pinocchio); best performance by a junior under the age of 16 – Tierno Dansoko (The Lion King) ; best first performance in a Reps production – Sydney Hencil (The Lion King).
The special awards not specifically related to productions of the year but to the well-being of the society were made to director and musician Mario Ciampi (Adrian Stanley Award), the Gammon family for their backstage contribution (the Munro Trophy) and director and actor John Dennison (the Steve Bonney Award).
Awards were also handed for the society’s under-19 group, the Repteens, as well as for the annual Reps Afdis Schools Festival.
Winners of the Repteens awards: best mime and movement – Kelsey Smyth ; best comedy – Jamie Lee Branfield ; best technical – Rogan Evans; most improved actress – Rutendo Mukwedeya ; most improved actor – Jason Bolt ; best actress – Kelsey Smyth ; best actor – Kumbi Muringi.
The Reps Afdis Schools Festival was won by Hellenic Academy’s production of Antigone, while Chisipite School’s Hercules took the runner-up prize. Certificates of commendation were awarded to St John’s College for its production The Farce About Felix, to Gugulethu Mpofu for her performance in Antigone and Peterhouse Schools for the set construction of It Runs In The Family.