Here’s my next Peter Pan Panto cast interview … I love interviewing people who I’ve known for so long that I don’t even know how long I’ve known them! I discover things about them that I never had a clue about! And that’s the case with the lovely, bubbly, award-winning Noni Mkhonto!
G & T: What’s your role in this year’s Panto?
NM: I’m in the Ensemble this year.
G & T: Have you had a lot of raised eyebrows at that? Have people asked you how you feel about being part of the Ensemble after winning a Naledi Award (for playing Ariel in the 2022 People’s Theatre production of The Little Mermaid Jnr.), and after you’ve had so many feature roles in numerous other productions?
NM: I think it’s so important to learn where you started and to have humility about what you’re doing. This industry (actually most industries) is about building relationships. I auditioned for my role, just like everyone else – who knows, despite the fact that I’ve been doing this for so long, and that so many people know me, maybe I just don’t have what’s needed for the role compared to someone new who might be trying out. That’s why the audition process is so important … for everyone! Just to be part of a process is a humbling experience and we all need to remember that.
G & T: What message would you like to convey to audiences through your performance?
When they watch me, I want them to see a sense of community and giving and that I’m proud of what I do. I want the audience to see that I’m generous in what I do and in my interaction with everyone on stage and I want them to learn to be present and joyful in the moment.
G&T: Let’s do some quickfire questions! Pizza or Burgers?
G & T: The movie or the book?
NM: The movie
G & T: Morning person or Night owl?
NM: Night owl
G & T: Which superpower would you choose and why?
NM: I would love to be able to teleport and go back in time. I love people and actually being with the people I love. But if I miss someone, I want to physically see them and be with them – hence wanting to teleport!
G & T: Who would play YOU in the movie of your life?
NM: (With no hesitation …) Viola Davis! Especially those ‘hardship’ moments. She’d get the STRENGTH right!
G & T: Do you have any irrational fears?
NM: Moths and butterflies
G & T: What question do people always ask you that you most dislike?
NM: “Where did you study?” I didn’t! And I don’t have a to justify to anyone how and why I am where I am today! (G & T: PREACH!!!)
G & T: If you could have dinner with any 2 people – living or dead – who would they be and why?
NM: Well definitely Viola Davis! I just want to know how she did it and keeps doing it! And then my grandmother, who is sadly no longer with us. She really believed in me. We always used to sing together and she reminded me so much of Tina Turner. She’s the one who told me to stay humble and who reminded me that everyone is someone. She taught me to treat every single person with respect – the people who clean the streets, and those guys busking and selling everything you don’t need, and begging at the stop-lights … smile at them and greet them. One day, you might need their help, and they’ll remember you for it.
My grandmother told me “You’re only a Princess at home. Outside that front door, you’re just like everyone else.” I carry that with me.
G & T: Noni … you’re pure gold!