Who’s Upstairs: Esosa E

Esos_6050_WEBEsosa E is will be starring in the self-written play, The Woman Who would be King at Alexander Upstairs from 20 to 30 April.

Home town?
Los Angeles, California.

Tell us a little more about your show?
It’s a one woman play inspired by the life of Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh.

And what’s next on the cards for you?
I’m in a television series called “An African City” that airs on DSTV on the channel EbonyLifeTV, our second season is still airing now. Right now I’m attached as the lead in two feature films; one of them is “Rise of the Orisha,” a superhero film inspired by African mythology that I am starring in and also producing.

And the project you’re dreaming of?
I’d love to book a television show or film that would allow me to stay in Cape town much longer! Outside of that I dream of playing the lead in a modern remake of seventies film “Mahogany” which originally featured Diana Ross.

How did you get into theatre?
When I started my training as an actress most of it was theater-focused. I studied a lot of Shakespeare in London and in the USA. In college I was co-president of a group called Black Theater Productions, and helped to write and produce plays. My last year of university I won a playwriting award for an original play I wrote. My teachers very early on told me I would definitely do more film and television than theater as an actress. That has been the case in my career thus far—and I love films so much— but it’s really wonderful to create an opportunity for myself to come back to the stage. There is nothing like live theater.

Dinner with any two figures from history: who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Tupac Shakur & Thomas Sankara. I would make them my world famous vegan egusi soup and talk about revolution.

Favorite spot in Cape Town (besides Alexander Bar, obviously)?
I enjoy jazz at Asoka. All of my other favorite places right now involve eating good plant-based food. I love the vibes at Sexy Food, Raw & Roxy, and I’m obsessed with the food and homey feeling of the Little Ethiopia restaurant on Shortmarket. I’m looking forward to exploring more while I’m in town.

What excites you about theatre?
It’s living proof of the power of the spoken word. Our world nowadays is all about technology and social media and the moving image; but there is still something so relevant about shared theater experiences. As an actress I love the challenge of being on stage and using my entire body to tell the story.

What mistakes have you made and learned the most from?
Waiting for people to hire me or give me permission to do anything for that matter. Luckily I stopped doing that very early on in my career, and it has served me well!