Before I introduce you to the next cast member from Janice Honeyman’s PETER PAN Panto, I just need to say … everyone I’ve met and interviewed is truly amazing! I have LOVED chatting to each and every one of them, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them, and being able to give YOU, their audience, a little bit of insight into their authentic, dynamic (often hilarious) personalities. But with this next one, I seriously wish that every single one of you could meet KENSIWE TSHABALALA in person!
You know that feeling when you start talking to a person and something just ‘clicks’?! We could have spoken for hours!! In fact we chatted for so long that we barely got through any of the questions I was meant to ask her! But here are the ones we did manage to cover …
G & T: What’s your role in Peter Pan?
KT: I’m Mrs Darling, Wendy’s mommy – which is so cool. It’s my first time playing a mother. I’m not a mom myself, so I’ve been reading JM Barrie’s original Peter Pan and have been learning about the relationship between mothers and daughters. It’s really given me a much greater understanding of women’s roles and I’ve been able to get a deeper insight into the life of a young girl (Wendy – in this case) and the relationship with her mom. In the story of Peter Pan, Mrs Darling represents a mother’s love. Wendy is able to take what she’s learned from her mother, and when she needs to she implements that into her role of nurturing her brothers and the Lost Boys in Neverland, because they are lacking a mother figure, which they desperately want and need her to be.
G & T: What message do you want to convey to your audience?
KT: I’ll quote Janice Honeyman: “A lot of stories today have a moral: don’t be like this, or that, but the panto is just about joy, and a jol.” Even the new Barbie movie had a message to deliver – it wasn’t only about being a frothy, pink movie! But this is purely about fun and enjoyment. I want the audience to have the gift of being present and for them to fully understand that it’s a gift to be alive. That’s why I perform. I want to be a conduit of love and to remind everyone to love life, despite whatever we’ve been through especially in the past 2 or 3 years.
To be able to come back to the theatre and enjoy a story where we’re all participants (and this is why people keep coming back) is unbelievably special and we need to fully grasp and respect that! And that’s what pantomime is all about – it’s a show where EVERYONE participates … the audience too! This is a place where that 4th wall is broken and where everyone becomes a part of the story – it’s so, so important. To be back in theatre is to be appreciated – the performers and everyone who has been a part of putting a show together, are appreciated, and we in turn appreciate the audience. I hope they realize how much! Joburg Theatre brings a heritage of bringing the joy and frivolity of life and to have survived!!!
G & T: What was your favourite toy when you were younger?
KT: My imagination – I could sing, dance, cry, create whatever I wanted! And my teddy bears were always named Charles!! I have no idea why!
G & T: Who would play YOU in the movie of your life?
KT: Zoe Saldanha – she’s a dancer like me and an exceptional actress and has been in the highest-grossing films of all time. She transforms herself all the time and is just incredible!
Don’t hesitate! Book your tickets NOW for Janice Honeyman’s Pantomime, Peter Pan!