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Vermaak | Entertainment > Teater | Theatre > Artikels | Features

Brett Goldin Bursary Winners announced


2008-03-13

Thami Mbongo and Nicholas Pauling selected as the 2008 Brett Goldin Bursary recipients.

Nearly two years after the brutal murders of Brett Goldin and his friend Richard Bloom, the young actor's memory was once again honoured on Saturday,

March 8, at the Baxter Theatre Centre when Thami Mbongo and Nicholas Pauling were selected as winners in the 2008 Brett Goldin Bursary awards.

Mbongo is the winner of the 2007 Aardklop Best Actor award for Lara Foot Newton's Karoo Moose, which he shares with the ensemble cast, and was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor in the 2007 Fleur du Cap Awards recently.

Last year her also performed in the popular series, Shooting Stars, on television. His play, Township Talks, which he wrote and directed, is currently on at the Ikhwezi Theatre Festival in the Baxter Sanlam Studio.

Pauling was nominated as Best Actor at last year's Fleur du Cap awards for his performance in the title role of Amadeus. He also played the role of the young professor, Nick, in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Baxter Theatre and the State Theatre last year. Nicholas took over the role of Guildenstern in Hamlet, just days after Brett's killing.

The two were chosen out of a shortlist of nine actors selected from 103 applicants countrywide. The final selection was made by a panel comprising Janice Honeyman, Lizz Mills and Paul Savage, who were joined by Cape Town-born Sir Antony Sher, Greg Doran (Chief Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company) and Denise Goldin, mother of the slain actor.

Goldin was murdered over the Easter weekend in 2006, just days before he was due to leave for Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was to perform the role of Guildenstern in the Baxter Theatre Centre's production of Hamlet, directed by Janet Suzman, at the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works Festival.

The Brett Goldin Bursary was founded immediately by the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, The Actors Centre in Johannesburg and the Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town.

While most South Africans were still recovering from the Easter festivities,

Denise Goldin spent the saddest Pesach of her life last year, a year later, but was comforted when the 24-year-old Johannesburg-based actor, writer and director, Omphile Molusi, became the first- ever recipient of the bursary. Molusi described the experience as "a life-changing visit".

The nine finalists for 2008 were Clayton Boyd, Emily Child, Nkosinathi Gaar,

Alex Haligey, Tauriq Jenkins, Chan Marti, Thami Mbongo, Nicholas Pauling and Tinarie van Wyk Loots.

For the audition the actors were required to perform two classic speeches (one tragic and one comic) as well as motivate why they should have been awarded the bursary. The selection criteria stipulated that the actors should be South African citizens, under the age of 30 in June 2008, have an interest in classic
theatre, have a valid passport or at least provide proof of application for one, and be able to fly to Stratford during the stated period.

The Brett Goldin Bursary Fund was kick-started by donations from RSC Associate Artist Sir Antony Sher and Honorary RSC Associate Janet Suzman.

The successful bursars will work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and will  travel to the UK in June for three weeks. They will be based in the Artist Development Department and introduced to the company, and it is hoped that much of the educational experience will come from observation, discussion with
personnel working in production, press and casting departments and through contact with other actors, directors or members of the RSC.

The work programme will include activities such as attending warm-ups, solo and company voice and verse classes, any Artist Development workshops held during the visit, technical rehearsals and other rehearsals at the directors' discretion, as well as sessions with a director or assistant director and
the opportunity to attend Learning Department workshops.

The organisers of the Brett Goldin Bursary have decided to hold the event every second year, so the next call for applications is only expected in 2010 and will take place in Johannesburg.

To honour and perpetuate the memory of slain actor Brett Goldin donations and  contributions to help support the fund, are encouraged and cheques should be made out to the University of Cape Town, with "for the Brett Goldin Investment Fund" written either at the bottom or on the back of the cheque. Post the
cheque to The Director, Baxter Theatre Centre, PO Box 297, Rondebosch, 7701.

For further enquiries to contribute contact Mannie Manim, CEO and Director, Baxter Theatre Centre by email mannie.manim@uct.ac.za


Winners' biographies:

Thami Mbongo

Thami Mbongo Mbongo is the winner of the 2007 Aardklop Best Actor award for Lara Foot Newton's Karoo Moose, which he shares with the ensemble cast, and is also nominated as Best Supporting Actor in the 2007 Fleur du Cap Awards.

Born in Mbekweni, Paarl, he is not only a performer but also a drama facilitator, educator, writer and director. He first performed at the Baxter Theatre in 1992 in the Volkswagen Music active school programme. Ever since then, he has worked with many theatre practitioners and companies around
Western Cape. Thami received training in Sons And Daughters Dramatic Organisation (SADDrO), Young People's Theatre Educational Trust, Project Phakama - An international arts project, Community Arts Project (1998) now known as AMAC - Arts and Media Access Centre and UCT Drama Department (1999 -
2001). Thami has attended lot of other courses around scriptwriting - theatre and radio, facilitation, theatre-making and directing.

His theatre appearances include 1 x 1 = 1 by Sarah Tudge, Alice in Wonderland by Heel Arts Collective Company (1998) Trojan Women (2000) directed by Geoff Hyland, King Lear (2001) directed by Liz Mills, Cold Waters Thirsty Soul (2001) and Onnest'bo (2002 - 2006) by Mark Fleishman, He has done lots of
Industrial and corporate theatre, schools works and community theatres. In 2005 and 2006 he was the face of Grand West CSI Soundtrack for Life programme which toured around Western Cape schools and communities.

On television he is well-known for his role of Moses Gumede in Shooting Stars which was on eTV. His other television appearances include - KFC "Ayavaya Amafong kong" TV Commercial, eTV Madam and Eve, Mazinyo Dot Q, Stokvel 2 & 3, Khululeka, and Vuyani Mzantsi (all for SABC 2), DSTV Ikamva labantu
commercial (Multi-choice Vuka award Top 10 winner) and Arrive Alive. He also stars in Asanda Gonya's Hello and Goodbye short film.

His radio experience including performing in the following Radio dramas - SABC Umhlobo Wenene's Qina Kwedini, Bush Radio's The Purse is Mine by Thomas Rapakgadi - adapted for radio by Karen Jeynes and The wells of Trouble by Martin Koboeka.

He has worked all these years very close in school programmes and community theatre festivals such as Artscape High School Drama Festival, Indibano Drama Festival, Boland Drama and Theatre Festival, Ikhwezi Community Theatre Festival and Stop Crime Drama Festival.


Nicholas Pauling

Nicholas is the 2006 Fleur du Cap Best Actor winner for his portrayal as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the classic Amadeus, directed by Lara Foot Newton, at the Baxter Theatre Centre and the State Theatre in Pretoria.

In 2005 he completed a BA degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town's Drama School. While studying here he performed in Valparaiso, The Hotnot Venues & Wonder of thing Unknown, Death and the King's Horseman, King Lear, In the Blood, Trouble Fourplay, Stiff Muscles, Sore Feet, Via God,Hamlet, Mephisto, The Blue Room, Much Ado about Nothing, Homeless Menace, Frankenstein & Amlet. Hamlet.

He also performed in Around the World in 80 Days and Romeo and Juliet (at Maynardville). On television he was seen in Charlie Jade, Madam & Eve and Interrogation Room. His film credits include Highway, Avenger and Le Rainbow Warrior.