On the eve of the Fleur du Cap Awards, to be held at the Artscape Theatre on Sunday March 17 from 6pm, PETER TROMP spoke to double first time nominee GIDEON LOMBARD. The actor has been nominated in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories and will be mixing it up with the likes of Jeremy Crutchley and David Dennis for the grand prizes; not bad for someone who only graduated from drama school in 2011.
Was it a surprise when you discovered that you were nominated? Surely some part of you must have known that you did good work.
It was a big surprise. Especially being nominated in two different categories. I was very overhwelmed by the news. I set a standard for myself in terms of the work I do and the choices I make, and I try and meet and up that standard with every new project. If I can honestly say to myself I have done that, from night to night, I feel I have done or am doing good work. But you get good days and bad days. Having said that, if that approach results in a nomination, that’s a great feeling.
What preparation went into your role(s) and do you consider being nominated validation of that effort?
The two roles were very different, so for each there was a distinctly different process. The one, ‘Special Guests’, was a process that was adopted from the outside in: I did a lot of physical training and accent work etc. The other, ‘The View’, was a more cerebral process. I sat on a chair and spoke a series of monologues, with Ella Gabriel (amazing!). So, each one required a different point of entry. I have a handful of close friends and people whose opinion I trust and value, in terms of validation. They usually provide a good honest gauge in terms of the productions and performances I have been involved in. But, to get their approval, recognition AND to be nominated is a great validation! It is wonderful to be able to do projects I believe in, am passionate about and things I have put a lot of effort into, and to be recognised for it.
Did you take much stock of the Fleur du Cap Awards before this year of being nominated?
To be honest, this is the first year I will be attending the Fleur du Cap Awards since graduating at the end of 2011, so I haven’t had much time to take stock of them since I have been working professionally. And as I’ve said, I get incredibly overwhelmed and quite shy in these situations. What I am very excited about is the fact that there are so many young independent companies amongst the nominees. I am very much looking forward to the evening.
What do you think of your fellow nominees?
It’s a great honor for me to be nominated with the rest of them. Because of the nature of the industry, especially in Cape Town, it often means you know one another or that you have even worked together. I am also the youngest in both categories, which means I watched and admired the other nominees while I was at drama school, or even before that. So, in that regard, it is quite surreal, very overwhelming and a great honor indeed.
What would it mean to you to win?
Just to be nominated is incredible. To win? I would be lying if I said it would not be wonderful. Although I do not think you should judge your success and ability primarily by awards, they can mean more opportunities in the future. It is very difficult to gain a sense of momentum as a freelance actor in this country and I think things like awards can help with that. The financial aspect of the award would also be very welcome. Any actor who denies the former is lying.
Who will you be taking along to the ceremony and why?
I am taking a good friend to enjoy the evening with.
Who will be rooting hardest for you to win?
Probably my family and some of my close friends.
Are you concerned that if you win your career might have peaked too soon?
I hope not! I don’t think so. There are still many things I want to do, to learn and to improve on. There are so many different people I would like to work with and various different aspects of theatre, not only acting, that I am interested in.
Finally, what can we look forward to from you in the coming months?
I am doing two shows at the KKNK. The one, ‘Nagwond’, is a piece presented by the Pink Couch, my theatre family, written by and starring Albert Pretorius, Cintaine Schutte and myself and directed by Tara Notcutt. The other is called ‘Die Leo’s’, a play by Nicky Silver, translated and directed by Hennie van Greunen. Shortly after that I return to Cape Town to do a return run of ‘Special Thanks to Guests From Afar’, written by Nicholas Spagnoletti and directed by Matthew Wild at the Artscape Arena.
* A limited number of tickets to the gala event are be available to the public at R150 via Computicket.