We are delighted to announce that the winner of the JMK Award 2023 is Kalungi Ssebandeke with his production of Meetings by Mustapha Matura, presented in partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre. Kalungi will work with designer Olivia Jamieson on the production.
The production forms part of Artistic Director Tom Littler’s inaugural season at the venue this Autumn.
As well as the JMK Award, the Trust gives one runner-up in the process a Development Award. This £2,000 finances the ongoing professional development of a deserving director and designer pairing. This year, director Tash Hyman and their designer Anna Orton, who worked together on their ideas for Midsummer by David Greig & Gordon McIntyre, will benefit from this support.
As a director, Kalungi’s credits include: Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp for the newly formed drama school Bristol School of Acting founded by Stuart Wood with co-artistic director Nancy Medina the incoming Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Prior to that, he worked as Director in Residence at Tonbridge School, a leading Independent School whilst also directing NT Connections play Remote by Stef Smith for White City Youth Theatre at Lyric Hammersmith.
As a writer, his debut play Assata Taught Me premiered at The Gate Theatre in 2017 starring Adjoa Andoh and Kenneth Omole directed by BAFTA Nominated Artistic Director of The Bush Theatre Lynette Linton. Kalungi has also written Prodigal a short play for The Orange Tree’s INSIDE/OUTSIDE series. Both plays are published by Bloomsbury and Nick Hern Books respectively. And Kalungi’s acting credits include Columbite Tantalite directed by Oscar Nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dr Who for BBC, Offie nominated role in Blood Knot directed by Matthew Xia at The Orange Tree and most recently playing Othello in the critically acclaimed production of Othello at The Watermill Theatre.
“Winning the JMK is one of the major highlights of my creative career. Meetings by Mustapha Matura is such a funny, and deliciously thought-provoking play and I can’t wait for audiences to get another taste of Mustapha’s writing. Getting the chance to return to the Orange Tree, this time as a director rather than performer, is a dream come true.
“Thank you to the JMK team for giving me this wonderful life changing opportunity and to everyone that has helped my directing journey take shape.” – Kalungi Ssebandeke