Who’s Upstairs: Lebogang Mogashoa

Lebo is the writer and per­form­ers of When We Were Nearly Young, at Alexan­der Upstairs 5 — 16 May.

LebogangMogashoa02Home town?
Polokwane.

Tell us a little more about When We Were Nearly Young?
WWWNY is a solo storytelling show inspired by This American Life, The Moth and the stand-up comedy of Mike Birbiglia and Simon Amstell. The theme for this show is “transcendence”. I’m telling personal and jokes stories about suffering through celebrity diets, a disgusting first kiss, North Korean bomb threats, kinky apartheid role-play, speaking in tongues and how to respond to a fisting offer.  It’s a hilarious show that is also incredibly intimate and honest.

What’s the next project?
I’m working on a new selection of stories and jokes that I’d like to start performing by the end of the year. I already have a title but I’m too scared to say it out loud.

And the one you’re dreaming of?
Oh, man! My writing partner and I are writing a comedy web series that we hope to shoot in Jo’burg and NYC.  My dream is for it to actually work out and have people get into it. So we could write more of it and be on Comedy Central or HBO.

How did you get into theatre?
My teacher in grade one taught me a poem and a story without making a big deal out of it. Then one morning she told me I would be performing it in front of the entire school and some parents. I was terrified. I wasn’t an obvious performer. The only theatrical thing about me was that I loved Cruella de Vil. But other than that, I was a quiet little weirdo who thought the baby Jesus was a literal baby born in our time. But when I went up and performed the pieces, I didn’t want to stop. I felt like I’d been invited into a special club. I’ve been chasing that high ever since.

Dinner with any two figures from history: who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Britney Spears is a historical figure, no? I’ll say yes because her dancing ability certainly IS a thing of the past now. That is the WORST thing I have ever said about Brit Brit. I am ashamed of myself. I feel dirty. Forgive me Britters, I tease because I love. I would invite her and Julia Child. I’d serve Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon and we’d wash it down with Britney’s favourite frappuccinos.  And then play a game of charades.

Favorite spot in Cape Town (besides Alexander Bar, obviously)?
But the Alexander Bar IS my favourite spot in Cape Town! I haven’t lived in Cape Town for six years. I know nothing. The only place that comes to mind is Willoughby & Co. for the sushi. Not for the V&A of it all.

What excites you about theatre?
You can try anything in theatre. As a non-traditional theatre performer I am still amazed that I am able to do what I do on stage. And I want to continue trying new things that I may not necessarily be able to do on other platforms. There’s always space for something in theatre. It’s limitless.

What mistakes have you made and learned the most from?
Comparing myself to other performers and worrying about whether or not what I wanted to say was important enough held me back for quite some time. Silly, silly concerns.

Who do you think people should be talking about?
Honestly? Me. I’m fun.