Methodist Church Hall • Cnr Milton Road and Wesley Street • Observatory • 7925 • Cape Town

Nothing is Here

dance
Artistic Director: Robin Kirsten Theatre Director: Craig Leo Director of Choreography: Themba Mbuli Choreography and performance: Andile Vellem and Siphenathi Mayekiso Puppetry by Ukwanda Puppets and Design Art Collective


Robin Kirsten is an artist working in experimental museology. Bringing together collections of objects, images and text, he constructs narratives that reflect on the relationship between the artists studio, the idea of ‘world', and models of the universe. Within these frameworks and contexts, his work constructs meaning out of the nothingness of production, as an observation about the nature of reality, and everything in it.

Craig Leo is a South African theatre designer, puppeteer and performing artist teaming up with Magnet Theatre, Jazzart Dance Theatre, Mothertongue Project, Janni Younge Productions and The Handspring Puppet Company.

Craig has continued his relationship with The Royal National Theatre as Associate Director of Puppetry for War Horse. Recent work Includes puppetry design and direction for Elliot Harper's, The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe for The Leeds Playhouse and The Bridge Theatre in London as well as puppeteer in Vivaldi's Four Seasons Re-Imagined for The Shakespeare's Globe, London.

Ukwanda Puppets & Design Art Collective was developed through the mentorship of Handspring Puppet Company and is supported by the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape where they are artists in residence (UWC). Formerly the Masiphumelele Youth Development Theatre Group, Ukwanda Puppets and Design Art Collective was formed in 2010. Since its inception Ukwanda has grown into a collective of young artists with a core group consisting of Luyanda Nogodlwana, head designer, performer, puppeteer and puppet maker; Siphokazi Mpofu, communication director, puppeteer, performer and puppet maker; and Sipho Ngxola, puppet maker, designer, performer and puppeteer. 

Ukwanda has won Standard Bank Ovation Awards for Qhawe a Xhosa Fairytale (2014) and Warona (2019) and performed internationally. They have built and made giant puppets for the Barrydale Annual Parade in the Karoo. This year Ukwanda has been working on a collaborative production with the Augsburg Staatsteater in Germany.  Ukwanda was supposed to perform in Augsburg in 2020 but because of Covid19 that work has been postponed.  In 2021 Ukwanda will return to Germany to finish the collaboration.