Originating from the townships of South Africa, ISANGO Ensemble is hailed as "one of the world's greatest lyric theatre companies" by Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed. Performing in its freshly original and imaginative musical theater style, ISANGO's work brings an intrinsic South Africa interpretation to repertoire encompassing the works of William Shakespeare, contemporary literature, and European classical operas. Having performed on the world's most iconic stages such as the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Shakespeare's Globe and extended runs in London's West End, Young Vic and Mackney Empire, the company has toured the world including America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe.
ISANGO ENSEMBLE (biography)
Isango Ensemble is a South African theatre company that draws its artists mainly from the townships surrounding Cape Town. Isango’s stage productions and films have played to sold-out audiences across the world and have received numerous international awards. Isango’s productions reimagine classics from the Western theatre canon, finding a new context for the stories within a South African or township setting, and adapting South African literary works, thereby creating inventive work relevant to the heritage of the nation. Isango’s structure embraces artists at all stages of their creative development, allowing senior artists to lead and contribute towards the growth of rising talents.
Isango Ensemble is committed to creating accessible theatre for South Africans and to contributing to a more united South African nation. Isango’s award-winning film, uCarmen eKhayelitsha, and a second film, Son of Man, were filmed on location in Khayelitsha and propelled this historically disadvantaged township into the international spotlight. Local residents were given the opportunity to be part of the films and U-Carmen premiered in Khayelitsha’s O. R. Tambo Sports Centre; it played there for three weeks to excited audiences. Isango intends to further develop this process by building a truly mixed audience, reflecting and uniting a diverse South African nation.
Golden Bear, Berlin Film Festival – Best Film
Golden Thumb, Rodger Eberts Film Festival – Direction, Mark Dornford-May and Performance, Pauline Malefane
Cannes Film Festival – Official Selection
Toronto Film Festival – Official Selection
THE MAGIC FLUTE IMPEMPE YOMLINGO
Globes de Cristal, Paris – Best Opera
Arts and Culture Award, South Africa – Award for Excellence in Opera]
Olivier Award, London – Best Musical Revival
A CHRISTMAS CAROL IKRISMAS KHEROL
With The Magic Flute Impempe Yomlingo
Whatsonstage Theatregoers Choice Award Best Off-West End Productions
SON OF MAN
LA Pan African Film Festival – Best Feature
Traverse City Film Festival – Founders Award presented and awarded by Michael Moore.
Sundance Film Festival – Grand Jury Prize nomination “World Cinema”
BFI London Film Festival – Official Selection
River Run International Film Festival – Special Jury Prize “Original Creative Vision”
San Francisco Black Film Festival – Winner “Best World Cinema”