The Full Circle: a new work through the eyes of an old work, a digital retrospective on Tswalo.

The process of making goes missing in the midst of celebrating the product. It is clear that modes of operation and ways of making are way less than the works that are being produced in the sphere of Performance. Merely because process is never seen as a body of work away from the product. This quest or inquiry aims at determining how much of the process of making a particular product can be a product of its own. How method can be recorded and transcribed into a study and a play and a production. In this instant the Product in question is Tswalo’s Process.

Tswalo is a body of poems constructed to fragment a narrative that is carried in both physicality and voice. It is placed in a timeless space, which explores the primary themes of being, chaos and beauty, blood and birth, love and war in the same frame.

Through the lens of other collaborators, the work takes a different shape, and becomes many folds, and can be seen as various ideas expanding into wells and circles of new knowledge and meaning-making. Because an idea never stops growing it multiplies into various forms of never-ending circles.



Tswalo developed into a play in 2016, after six months of devising, discussions and engaging in a series of trial performances in Johannesburg and Cape Town, where we went through a lot of phases and changes the play took on a different shape based on feedback that we ere getting which informed the development of the project, this work has been reproduced as a published text, an audiobook and a series of lectures through Rhodes University through the Translanguaging and performance course .

The play pulls together physical storytelling and poetry as an attempt to see if the two can co-exist in one space without conflict, playing with the idea of completely using the body as the poetic language of theatre and allowing the embodiment of the text to exist both in the body and the voice.

Tswalo was created from a space of curiosity and experimentation which aimed at stretching the idea of performance and, most importantly, the abilities of the performer.

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Billy Langa

Billy Langa

Billy Langa is an award-winning actor, playwright, and educator. Langa takes a curious approach to theatre that’s deeply relational to the body – puzzling out what theatre means to those who perform it and those who witness it. A recent interest of Langa’s is the presence of language, and how it fits into the physicality of theatre.

His directing credits include, A Place of Knowing (2018-2019), Just Antigone (2016) and Sophiatown (2013). As an actor he has been seen in his play Tswalo (2018 – ongoing) which has toured different parts of the world including Germany and Scandivia to name a few. In South Africa, Langa has performed at many theatre companies including but not limited to, the centre for the less good Idea in Johannesburg, The National Arts Festival, Egoli and The Market Theatre Foundation.

Langa’s awards include Cape Town Fringe Fresh Award for Performance, Standard Bank Ovation Award, The Naledi Theatre Award for Best Production for Young Audiences, Arts and Culture Trust Impact Runner-up Prize and Naledi Award for Best Solo Performance.