Kate Liquorish and Tony Bonani Miyambo are the latest Brett Goldin Bursary winners.
Liquorish (30) and Miyambo (26) clinched the 2014 Brett Goldin Bursary awards at an event held at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg on Friday, April 11, just five days ahead of the eighth anniversary of the young actor’s brutal murder over the Easter weekend in 2006.
Liquorish and Miyambo were among the six finalists selected from a shortlist of 26, out of nearly 90 applications received from all over South Africa, through a rigorous audition process which took place over three days. The other four finalists were Francis Chouler, Buhle Ngaba, Zondwa Njokweni and Daniel Richards.
“I feel honoured and privileged to have won amongst so many talented and worthy applicants,” said an elated Liquorish. “This has been a dream of mine for many years and I can’t wait to immerse myself in all that is Shakespeare; to learn from the best and to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity. I am so very grateful to all that made this possible and to those who continue to contribute to keeping this bursary ongoing.”
Liquorish completed her BA in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town in 2006. She was a member of the theatre ensemble The Mechanicals and her theatre credits include ‘Richard III’, ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’, ‘The Miser’, ‘Foursight’, ‘The Girl in the Yellow Dress’, ‘Lovborg’s Women’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Mephisto’, ‘Cosi’, ‘One Woman, One Show’, ‘The Birthday Party’, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, ‘The Cooksisters’, ‘Buried Child’, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and ‘The Abusers’. Her film credits are ‘Loot’, ‘Crime Safari’, ‘Cowboy’ and ‘The Secret Agent’, and on television she was seen in ‘Hillside’ and ‘Deeltitel Dames’.
Liquorish was nominated for Fleur du Cap awards for Best Actress 2013 (‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’), Best Supporting Actress 2013 (‘The Miser’), Best Performance in a One-Person Show 2013 (‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’) and Most Promising Student (2005).
Miyambo was equally elated and overwhelmed on hearing the news. “This moment is the culmination of countless dreams – buckets of tears, sweat and unbelievable support,” said the 26-year-old. “I am overwhelmed and humbled but ready to work even harder to realise the potential that the panel has seen in me.”
Liquorish is an actor, writer, director, producer and filmmaker who holds a BA (Hons) in Dramatic Arts from Wits University (2011). He has worked extensively in film and television and was seen in ‘Fold’, ‘Jozi to Kapa’ and ‘Hard to Get’. His works as writer/director or producer are ‘The Ice Rink’, ‘Out of Place’, ‘Rasenga’ and ‘Hleziphi’. Among his theatre credits are ‘Short Left’, ‘Something out of the Ordinary’, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Mbeki and other Nightmares’, ‘Passion of the Christ’, ‘Red Peter’s Way Out?’, ‘Crepuscule’, ‘Relativity Township Stories’, ‘Topdog Underdog’, ‘Afrocartology’, ‘Thirst’ and ‘The Government Inspector’.
In April 2012 he received the Marta Award for Best Male Actor at the Setkani Encounters Festival in the Czech Republic and he has performed in the Netherlands and the UK.
The Brett Goldin Bursary was set up immediately after the young actor and his friend, fashion designer Richard Bloom, both 28, were killed over the Easter weekend on April 16, 2006, just days before he was due to leave for Stratford-upon-Avon. He was to perform the role of Guildenstern in the Baxter’s production of ‘Hamlet’, directed by Janet Suzman, which launched the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. The double murder sent shockwaves throughout South Africa and England.
The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Actors Centre in Johannesburg and the Baxter Theatre Centre established the bursary, which was kick-started by donations from respected South African-born actor Sir Antony Sher and Honorary RSC Associate Dame Janet Suzman to give another young actor the opportunity which Brett was denied and to honour his memory in an appropriate manner.
“Since this bursary was first initiated I have always been overwhelmed and overjoyed by the wealth of young talent and performers that South Africa is blessed with,” says Denise Golden, mother of the late Brett Goldin. “This year was no exception. The final six actors were all so incredibly strong and passionate which makes it so difficult for me and the other judges. It is heartbreaking to have to decide on only two winners, because I found all the final six worthy of this opportunity.”
The bursary is for a short post-graduate course designed to enhance and fine-tune actors who are committed to the need and desire to expand their knowledge and acting ability of Shakespeare. Furthermore, on their return they should be willing to use the skills gained to enthuse and encourage others towards a love and understanding of Shakespeare.
The two bursars will travel to the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, birthplace of the world’s most famous playwright, for one month, from July 26 until August 24.
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.
Omphile Molusi became the first recipient of the bursary in 2007 and in 2008 Thami Mbongo and Nicholas Pauling were chosen when the organisers decided to hold the event every second year and choose two recipients. All three actors were part of the acclaimed ‘The Tempest’, which marked the second collaboration between the Baxter Theatre Centre and the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2009. The 2010 recipients were Thato Moraka and Josette Eales, and in 2012 it was Nkosinathi Gaar and Timothy Redpath who impressed the judges.
This year’s judging panel comprised theatre stalwart Dorothy Ann Gould, who has been involved with the bursary since its inception, Denise Goldin, Market Theatre Artistic Director James Ngcobo and Baxter Associate Producer and Planning Manager Nicolette Moses.
* To support or donate towards the Brett Goldin Bursary Fund, contact Lara Foot, CEO and Artistic Director of the Baxter Theatre Centre on 021 680 3988.