Kalungi Ssebandeke announced as the winner of the 2023 JMK Award

We are thrilled to announce Kalungi Ssebandeke as the winner of 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 JamiesonMeetings will form part of our 2023 Autumn programme, with dates and booking information to be announced soon. 

“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.” – Kalungi Ssebandeke

“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 Trini 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.” – Stephen Fewell, Chair of the JMK Trust 

“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.” – Tom Littler, OT Artistic Director

Kalungi Ssenbandeke’s 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. 

He is also returning to the Orange Tree after performing in Blood Knot and writing Prodigal, a short play for our Inside/Outside series. His further acting credits include Othello (The Watermill Theatre). His film credits include Columbite Tantalite and for television Doctor Who

As a writer, his debut play Assata Taught Me premiered at Gate Theatre in 2017 starring Adjoa Andoh and Kenneth Omole, directed by BAFTA Nominated Artistic Director of Bush Theatre Lynette Linton. Both plays (Assata Taught Me and Prodigal) are published by Bloomsbury and Nick Hern Books respectively.  

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