The JMK Trust announces that Kalungi Ssebandeke wins this year’s JMK Award with his production of Meetings by Mustapha Matura.
The JMK Award offers Ssebandeke the opportunity to stage his own full-scale professional show with designer Olivia Jamieson. Hosted by the Orange Tree Theatre (OT), Meetings will form part of their 2023 Autumn programme, Artistic Director Tom Littler’s inaugural season.
Kalungi Ssebandeke said today “Winning the JMK is one of the major highlights of my creative career. Meetings by Mustapha Matura is such a funny, and deliciously thought-provoking play and I can’t wait for audiences to get another taste of Mustapha’s writing. Getting the chance to return to the Orange Tree, this time as a director rather than performer, is a dream come true.
“Thank you to the JMK team for giving me this wonderful life changing opportunity and to everyone that has helped my directing journey take shape.”
Stephen Fewell, Chair of the JMK Trust, said today, “We were thrilled to be able to run the JMK Award this year, our third since the pandemic. In the current climate, when opportunities for emerging theatre makers feel more precious and precarious than ever, it is a deep privilege to be able to support Kalungi and his intellectual and practical understanding of this great Trinidadian play. I’ve no doubt that it will thrill audiences with a fire and passion that Kalungi shared with everyone who was involved in the selection process.”
Tom Littler, Artistic Director of the OT, added, “In a very talented field of over a hundred young directors, Kalungi stood out. His connection to Mustapha Matura’s brilliant writing and his inspirational presence in the rehearsal room were remarkable. We cannot wait to produce his staging of Meetings this autumn.”
Suited, booted, and stuffed with American burgers and fries, Hugh walks out of a meeting and buys a mango on the street. To the bemusement of his high-flying wife Jean, Hugh becomes obsessed with the foods of his Trinidadian childhood and hires a cook, Elsa, to indulge his nostalgic passion. Mustapha Matura’s razor-sharp comedy about identity, belonging and the cost of progress.
Kalungi Ssenbandeke is a director, writer, and actor. As a director, he recently directed Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp for the newly formed drama school Bristol School of Acting founded by Stuart Wood with co-artistic director Nancy Medina the incoming Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Prior to that, he worked as Director in Residence at Tonbridge School, whilst also directing NT Connections play Remote by Stef Smith for White City Youth Theatre at Lyric Hammersmith.