Who’s Upstairs: Daniel Mpilo Richards

Daniel MDanielRichards3pilo Richards will be performing in Mike van Graan’s Pay Back the Curry! on 20 and 21 June at 7PM as part of our Pre-NAF mini festival.

Home town?
I was born in Switzerland. I know. But i consider Cape Town my home town.

Tell us a little more about your show?
Mike Van Graan, the writer, can give you the blurb. All I’ll say is that it’s hard-hitting satire that will have you laughing and maybe shedding a tear as we reflect on South Africa and its socio-economic situation in 2016. Sing along, be honest with yourself and let me say everything you hear yourself say but hide from the world.

And what’s next on the cards for you?
Project 1 million. Gantane Kusch and I wrote a play called Die Glas Ennie Draad, based on the work the Ruben Richards Foundation (RFF) does in traumatised communities. This particular story is based on a true story of an active gang leader who wants change. Project 1 million is an initiative by DMR Productions and RRF with the aim to affect the lives of 1 million residents on the Cape Flats through the production of Die Glas Ennie Draad. The project is currently in its pilot phase, funded by the Arts and Culture Department, where the RRF will bus in school children and their significant other to view Die Glas Ennie Draad, be exposed to a world-class theatre (Artscape – where the production will be staged for the pilot), learn about the theatre, be treated like esteemed guests and most importantly engage in a critical discussion about the issue of gangsterism after the show.
Then of course, Pay Back The Curry will do a national tour.

And the project you’re dreaming of?
Project 1 million.

How did you get into theatre?
I had the privilege of performing at the market theatre in grade 9 when i was at school in Johannesburg. I performed in ‘Lord Of The Flies’ for 8 weeks. It was my first professional production and my first exposure to the idea of theatre as a career.

Dinner with any two figures from history: who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Bob Marley – Fish and vegetables. And then to end off – Stephanie’s protein packeted Date-ball with a cup of hot almond milk cocoa and honey. (yum)
Martin Luther King – A medium rare t-bone steak and ribs made by my dad with my moms gluten-free apple crumble and Stephanie’s homemade ice cream. (double yum)

Favorite spot in Cape Town (besides Alexander Bar, obviously)?
Any where i can sit and see the sea and mountain.

What excites you about theatre?
The ridiculous precision that has to happen every night.
The fact that during every performance there is a new relationship negotiated between performer and audience members. (If there’s anyone in the theatre – otherwise – i just keep negotiating the space with my family)
The chances of it going wrong.

What mistakes have you made and learned the most from?
Not living my dream.
Not warming up. I realised it was like asking a car to start with no petrol.
Underestimating my audience. I do not make assumptions about my audience anymore.
Being selfish on stage. Performing is about ‘give and take’, negotiation and relationships. Otherwise, you might as well perform in front of a mirror.

Who do you think people should be talking about?
People should be talking about the creative beings that have created the creative hub that Cape Town is.
Gantane Kusch – a man who likes to go unnoticed and never blows his own horn but deserves to achieve whateverr he desires for himself. The otherly poet. We are fragments of each others brains.
Sne Dladla – a musical genius, funny human being and one of the most electric performers to be on stage with.
Emma Kotze – watch her, her work speaks for itself. Humble and honest.
Kathleen Stephens – a multi-dimensional creative being that you will never be able to put in a box.
Koleka Putuma – one of the best young poets of our generation.
Aphiwe Menziwe – the voice of an angel and a powerful powerful performer.
Buhle Ngaba – we have just agreed to dominate. Enough said.
Nicole Fortuin – always on the up and up. Always working and doing exciting things.
Mathew Le Roux aka Jimmy Nevis – a genuine musician who sings because he loves it.
Alex Fynn – South Africas next best film-maker and director.
Jason Jacobs – an Afrikaans writer and director. Some of the best Afrikaans writing i have read lately.
Schalk Bezuidenhout – a comedic rockstar – i love his vibe.
Imaan Isaacs, Mandisi Sindo, Richard September, Ella Gabriel- i could go on forever. (Wow, Cape Town has some hot talent – gees – i would mention almost every Cape Townian Artist – but thats not fun to read)