Gaslight Newsletter – February 2019

Dear Members

It has indeed been a week of awards! During the early hours of Monday morning (South African time) the world once again waited in anticipation to see the outcome of the Annuals Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. There were the usual shocks and surprises and for the next couple of months the discussions, laughs and gossiping will no doubt continue. Was it really better without an official host? (Not sure.) Was Green Book a worthy winner? (I thought so.) What about Olivia Colman blowing a raspberry in the middle of her acceptance speech? (Delightful.) And then the big one – are they or aren’t they – Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, that is. (Verdict on that one still out!)

However, a  few hours later, on the other side of the world at the tip of the African continent, actors, dancers and singers from a number of Cape Town amateur dramatic societies, gathered in their numbers for the 2018 CATA (Cape Amateur Theatre Awards) ceremony at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg – a much less scandalous event, but equally important for the amateur Thespians in the Mother City.

G&S received a whopping 23 nominations and came home with quite a few of the big ones. The cast and crew of Snoopy – The Musical 2018, received awards for Best Musical, Best Musical Director (Kathy Lin), Best Junior Performance in a Musical (Bryony Bosman), and Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Martine Kawalsky).

Certificates of Excellence were given to Barend van der Westhuizen, Stephan le Roux and Kerryn Warren for My Eyes Are Fully Open (Ruddigore 2018), Waldo Buckle for the Painted Emblems scene in Ruddigore, Erin Gemmell for her silent role of Woodstock in Snoopy, and Rosemary Wilke for the programme of Snoopy.

Just as heart-warming is the fact that so many of the other winners (and nominees) at some stage during the past couple of years were treading the boards in G&S productions, with many more involved in the upcoming production of South Pacific.

For those who couldn’t attend the ceremony, and for some reason still haven’t seen the full list of CATA 2018 Winners, here we go:

Artistic Contribution:

Rory Currin – The Diary of Anne Frank (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Technical Excellence:

Wicus Louw – The Diary of Anne Frank (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)


Tamsyn Wilson & Nicky Enticott – The Producers (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)


Richard Higgs – Playing with Fire (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Cameo Performance:

Kerith Coulson – The Comedy of Errors (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Best Junior Performance in a Play:

Skye Bullen – The Diary of Anne Frank (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Best Junior Performance in a Musical:

Bryony Bosman – Snoopy (G & S)

Most Promising Newcomer in a Play:

Skye Bullen – The Diary of Anne Frank (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Most Promising Newcomer in a Musical:

Matthew Kingwill – The Producers (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Best Support Actress in a Play:

Carly Beavon – The Diary of Anne Frank (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Best Support Actress in a Musical:

Ariella Barnett – The Producers (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Best Support Actor in a Musical:

Rob Coutts – The Producers (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Best Support Actor in a Play:

Trevor Joubert – The Christmas Spirit (Milnerton Players)

Best Lead Actress in a Play:

Skye Bullen – The Diary of Anne Frank (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Best Lead Actress in a Musical:

Martine Kawalsky – Snoopy (G & S)

Best Lead Actor in a Play:

Robert Shenton – Dial M for Murder (Fish Hoek Dramatic Society)

Best Lead Actor in a Musical:

David Wilke – The Producers (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Best Musical Director:

Kathy Lin – Snoopy (G & S)

Best Director of a Musical:

Neil Leachman – The Producers (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Best Director of a Play:

Judith Herbig – Miracle on South Division Street (Milnerton Players)

Best Musical:

Snoopy (G & S)

Best Play:

Miracle on South Division Street (Milnerton Players)

Certificates of Excellence:

Rosemary Wilke – Programme of Snoopy (G & S)

Mandy Cardin – Tapdance in Nunsense (Milnerton Players)

Noah de Villiers, Ariella Barnett, Matthew Kingwill – Springtime for Hitler (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Rob Coutts, David Wilke, Mark Wilkes – Guten Tag Hop Klop (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

David Wilke & Chorus – I Wanna Be A Producer (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Erin Gemmell – Role of Woodstock in Snoopy (G & S)

Cast of The Producers – Bialystock and Bloom (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)

Waldo Buckle – Painted Emblems scene in Ruddigore (G & S)

Barend van der Westhuizen, Stephan le Roux, Kerryn Warren – My Eyes Are Fully Open (G & S)

Cast of Saturday Night At The Movies – Opening and closing numbers (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Ruth Allsopp – Outstanding achievement in service to amateur theatre (Cods Little Theatre Cup)

Bali Ha’i is calling us!

With the 2018 awards in the bag, we are getting ready for that long journey to the island of South Pacific. The casting for the show has been completed and the cast will all report for duty on 2 March for the production’s first official event. And on the 4th the hard work will start. Speaking of hard work (and please forgive for reverting to the Oscars again) – in her press room interview after the ceremony Lady Gaga said the following:

“Every single person on this stage has been through so much. We are friends, we have worked on ourselves in life, we have tried to get through the torment of this industry and being artists. And the truth is that this is very hard work, and it is not for the faint of heart.”  

And if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought she was referring to all of us! All the best to the South Pacific creative team, cast and crew – it’s going to be incredibly hard work, but it is also a time of new friends, new memories, and immense artistic reward and satisfaction.

Letter of thanks from Michele Usher’s family

As many of you know, we recently lost another long-standing member and friend, Michele Usher.  Many of you were able to sing at her funeral service and Michele’s sister, Lorraine, sent us the following note:

Dear G&S friends,

Thank you so much to Alastair and Helen and everyone who came and sang at the celebration of Michele’s life.  The beautiful singing made the celebration so special and we really appreciate it so much.

Thanks also for the many messages and words of comfort that we have received.


Lorraine, Brian, Nicola and Gérard 

Stan Robinson (right) and Nick Plummer (left), during the run of My Fair Lady 2016. This is how many of his theatre friends will remember him – always there, with a soft and gentle smile.

Passing of Stan Robinson

Sadly, in the past week we have lost another G&S member in the person of Stan Robinson, husband of a former G&S chairperson, Audrey Robinson.  Stan underwent bypass surgery last week and passed away on the evening of Wednesday, 20 February.

Stan was a remarkable man and over the years, many of us have worked closely with him. We have asked Bronwyne Scott to share her memories of Stan with us.

“I was so sad to hear about the passing of Stan Robinson. It was my great privilege to have worked with him – he was such a wonderful person and indeed a fine gentleman.

Over the last ± 12 years I have worked with Stan on a number of productions. Some of the more memorable ones have been “The King and I” – who can forget the men standing in their “Siamese posture” – not something they did every day. Stan was involved in both productions of My Fair Lady. In the 2016 version, when “Dover” sometimes went on strike, Stan (who was Trevor and Nick’s dresser) without exception demonstrated the calmness and patience that was so typical of him.  He would have laid out the costumes behind the huge house and then I would come to him saying: “Stan we have to go onto another scene” and he would patiently strike the house costumes and move onto the next scene. He would never kick up fuss, just quietly go about his business.

Stan was one of those folk that you never had to worry about, he was always just where he was supposed to be. And he did it in such a charming way. He was also such a help in the 2011 Fiddler on the roof, Annie and Yeoman of the Guard, to name a few. I still have a beautiful card that he and Audrey gave me on the opening night of the productions they were involved with – he made the most wonderful cards! Stan was one of those people who never blew his own trumpet but in his quiet, charming and gentlemanly way made a lasting impression on all who worked with him. He will be sadly missed.”

Our sincere condolences to Audrey, their children and grandson – we are keeping you all in our prayers and thoughts. For those of you wishing to show your last respects, Stan’s funeral will take place on Friday, 1 March at 14:00 in the Church Street Methodist Church in Wynberg.  

And finally, the usual reminder to share your news with us – if you are aware of upcoming auditions of interesting productions, or just want to share some relevant theatre news, please drop me an email at and I will include it in a future edition.

Until a next time, all the best.

Charlene  (Gaslight Editor)