Durban Theatre Awards management committee has made a decision to put an end to the awards- with immediate effect.
The Mercury Durban Theatre Awards which took place annually for the past 14 years is now a thing of the past according to a statement by the awards administrator Peter Taylor.
A blog post on SoSuterBill states that according to Taylor, the axing of the awards is due to a lack of productions in Durban since last year:
“The past few years have seen fewer and fewer new productions being produced and put forward for consideration. The last theatre year was particularly dire and this year has not proved any different so far”.
Furthermore, a number of arts professionals have shunned the awards due to criticisms that have garnered over the years. Many of which were due to representation issues and expertise within the judging panel.
The panel included; Billy Suter, Debbie Lutge, Deli Malinga, Caroline Smart, Glynis Horning, Janet Whelan, Jean van Elden, Musa Hlatshwayo, Raymond Perrier, Siza Patrick Mthembu and Stavros Anthias.
While the decision to scrap the prestigious theatre awards may come as a shocking surprise to many, there is still the hope of a fresh and reformed awards system that could later emerge for Durban’s theatre community.
But for now, light’s out…