Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala
Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala is a highly motivated and passionate artist with a deep belief that Art has the potential to rehabilitate the way society perceives itself. Her preoccupation with the restoration of dignity for the self as an African living in Africa has prompted her to unpack certain stereotypes around the black face and confront them in performance.
As a performance-maker she has created several works including it’s Not Over Until the Fit Fat Phat Lady Sings, presented in South Africa and in Europe (Paris, Bern and Belgium), Is this Africa Put a Cross On The Appropriate Woman, Lest We Forget, Ziyakhipha Come Dance With Us a work she presented at the National Arts Festival as the 2006 Young Artist Award recipient for dance. This work also won the Gauteng MEC Choreographic Award for most outstanding presentation of an original work.
She has worked and collaborated with artists such as Congolese Faustin Linyekula in his work What is Black Music Anyway / Self Portraits commissioned by the MOMA in New York (2012). Princess Mhlongo’s Trapped premiered at the National Arts Festival and showcased at the Salzburg Festival in Austria (2012). In 2011, she collaborated with Via Katlehong on their first musical revue called Cabaret premiered at the Théâtre National de Chaillot Paris. In 013-014, she also performed in the late Alain Buffard’s last work Baron Samedi that extensively toured Europe and the United States. She wrote and directed Africa Lethumusic, a Maskandi musical premiered at the SOWETO Theatre featuring Maskandi artists from Lethumbuso Productions.
Highway to Heaven Paradise Road, a simple tale of colonial exploitation is her latest creation in collaboration with Sdu Majola. It premiered in March 014 in Hellerau (Dresden), Tanzhaus (Dusseldorf) and Kampnagel (Hamburg) in Germany, as part of the Dance Dialogues Africa programme. This work has also been showcased at Studios Kabako in Kisangani, The French Institute in Lubumbashi, Wushwini Art Centre at KwaNgcolosi, The Plat4orm in Newtown The Olive tree Theatre in Alex Township and in Voslorus for The Peoples’ Coalition Against Xenophobia.
She has appeared in a number of stage and film productions, including; Far from the Madding Crowd, Lost in the Stars, Hairspray the Musical, African Queens, And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses, Touch my Blood, Modus Vivendi, Gogo and Big Sister, Curl up and Dye, Music in the air the Musical, The story I’m about to tell, Sunnyboy Motau’s In the end is my beginning, Sophiatown the film District 9 and television series Gaz’lam, Society, Greed and Desire. Hlengiwe Lushaba is also the creative director at an experimental performance space called The Plat4orm.
Marc Kay has performed professionally since 2004 when he appeared in the title role of Aladdin Trouble. He has appeared in several plays and musicals, winning the Fool’s Award for Best Breakthrough Performer in 2008. He also won a Durban Theatre Award for his portrayal of Tony in Shear Madness, He has written several plays, including A Guide to the Theatre and The Erl King (for which he won Best Solo Performer at the 2013 Durban Theatre Awards, and a Standard Bank Encore Ovation Award at the 2014 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown). In December, he was involved wuth the highly successful Wickedly Odd: The Night Gardens. He won the SAFM Radio Play competition in 2015 for his first radio play The Bungalow, and again in 2016 for his second, Bordertown.
Mongiwekhaya’s career is an autodidactic galaxy of skills that orbit around narrative and image. Trained in physical theatre and the devising process, he has since expanded into other arts professions. For the last 3 years he has worked as a puppeteer and director with Handspring Production, touring Asia, South America and Europe.
Mongiwekhaya have been involved in the theatre and film industry for 10 years with experience in over 50 Film & Theatre productions ranging from physical comedy to tragic drama to even Opera. Some of the most striking productions included works by Andrew Buckland, Fortune Cookie Theatre Company, and Market Theatre. A highlight of 2006 was the prestigious invitation to be a performer for the renowned Cirque Du Soleil.
A skilled artist in physical Theatre, mask, and puppetry, he has grown working with Handspring Puppet Company. He joined Handspring in 2011 as the lead in W. Kentridge’s ‘Woyzeck on the Highveld’ and has never looked back.
As a writer, Mongiwekhaya recently premiered his play ‘I See You’ at the Royal Court in London, the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town and the Market Theatre in Johannesburg South Africa.
Currently he is in development of new work for Eleven Films in London, as well as a new play for the Fugard Theatre.
Mongi is an art-in-residence with the University of Western Cape, a member of the Handspring Trust Board and Artistic Director of Ukwanda Puppet Designs.