The closing weekend of the National Arts Festival celebrated the stamina, creativity and energy of South African artists with the Standard Bank Ovation Awards. The late-night Awards took place after the last shows of the evening on the 2 July and was packed with artists and supporters waiting to find out who the overall winners would be.
Throughout the Festival, Standard Bank Ovation Awards are given to productions on the National Arts Festival’s Fringe programme that are noticeable for being a cut above, well received by audiences – and that leave a lasting impression. Audiences also note Standard Bank Ovation Awards when deciding what to see on the programme. On the last night of the Festival, winners gather to hear who among them will receive the Gold, Silver and Bronze Ovation Awards.
The National Arts Festival’s Fringe programme is made up of shows that are independently produced and funded. A panel of reviewers see every show on the Fringe and meet daily to compare reviews and discuss the awarding of winners who are notified as soon as they are awarded. This year’s panel was jointly convened by Ranique Roberts and Kutlwano Kepadisa. The panel saw 128 shows in 9 days (the full panel is listed below).
Says Standard Bank Ovations Awards panel co-convenor Ranique Roberts, “I adjudicated a performance and left in tears. Not only was I moved by the performance, but also the heartfelt energy the patrons shared. Dancing and singing along, I looked around the room in admiration of how this performance had brought together every single person in the room, no matter their age, race or background. It was a full realisation that the arts are back!
Kutlwano Kepadisa noted that, “the Standard Bank Ovation Awards really affirm the work that artists do; encouraging them to keep creating and producing. There were some incredible productions at this year’s Festival and a lot of them from young unknown and upcoming creatives. The Ovation Awards are an endorsement of quality to shows which may otherwise not have been seen or known. It has been an education being involved in this year’s Ovation Panel.”
Fringe artists rely on ticket sales to make a success of their run at the Festival and, although the Festival did everything it could to manage the onset of Stage 6 load shedding, some shows had to cancel or postpone and were financially impacted as a result.
Standard Bank Ovation Award winners in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories are able to boost their profits from the prize money they are awarded with R7 000 going to each of the Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award winners, R3 000 to each of the Silver Award winners and R2000 to each of the Bronze Standard Bank Ovation recipients.
The Ovation Awards are sponsored by Standard Bank and managed by the National Arts Festival. Speaking at the Awards, Standard Bank’s Head of Sponsorship, Desiree Pooe, reminded the audience that in August 2020 the events and creative industry had lit buildings and theatres red in a show of frustration as work was suspended by COVID-19. “Here we are in 2022, having a live Festival and we’ve lit this building blue to signal the sector’s return to live performance and this, our first occasion to be together again”
The 2022 Standard Bank Ovation Awards are (click on show title to open information about each show):
GOLD Standard Bank Ovation Awards
SPARK IN THE DARK
IPHUPHO L’KA BIKO
THAPELO TSHITE ARTS DEVELOPMENT
SILVER Standard Bank Ovation Awards
BRENDON PEEL ENTERTAINMENT
ULOYIKO THEATRE AND PROJECTS
AFDA – JOHANNESBURG
RHODES UNIVERSITY DRAMA DEPARTMENT
NSFW – Not Safe for Woke
NORTH WEST DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
BRONZE Standard Bank Ovation Awards
EMFULENI ARTS CREATIVES
SIKHUTHALI OLIVER BONGA & WALTER STRYDOM
We’re Back with Goosebumps A Capella
STACEY VAN SCHALKWYK
BEST OF BOTH CONCERTS
SONWA SAKUBA INSTITUTE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
AMANDLA DANCA TEATRO ZA
WELA KAPELA PRODUCTIONS
NOMBASA M PRODUCTIONS
BLUE Standard Bank Ovation Awards
WALTER SISULU UNIVERSITY DRAMA SOCIETY Walter Sisulu
FIVE SIDED RECORDS
WELA KAPELA PRODUCTIONS
THE EASTERN CAPE THEATRE ENSEMBLE
OY!THEATRE, A PROJECT OF THEATRE ARTS
The full 2022 Standard Bank Ovation Awards panel was
Selloane Lalu Mokuku
The National Arts Festival ran from 23 June- 3 July 2022 and was a live festival after a two-year hiatus during which the Festival went online during COVID-19. For more visit nationalartsfestival.co.za