When Likho Mango was informed that he would be acting in a play by internationally acclaimed playwright, producer and actor Athol Fugard, in The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, he was over the moon.
The 14- year-old pupil from New Crossroads said he thought he was daydreaming and that the person on the other end of the phone line was pulling a prank on him when he got the news.
However, he quickly realised that his dream of acting in a theatre with well known actors and actress had finally been achieved. The Trafalgar High School pupil said he considered himself fortunate to have achieved his dream at an early age as there were plenty of budding actors and actress who battled to make it into the industry.
Likho said he knew from a young age that he wanted to act and believed he had the talent and the ability to be successful in that field.
He described acting under Mr Fugard’s directorship as a-once-in-a-life-time opportunity.
Likho said during his first rehearsal with Mr Fugard, he was very nervous, but the warm welcome he received, calmed his nerves. The play is inspired by the life of a farm worker called Nukain Mabuza, a self-taught artist living in segregated pre-liberation South Africa. The play enjoyed a highly acclaimed debut season in New York in 2015, which was extended several times.
The play opened at the Fugard on Tuesday August 23.
While Likho only started acting this year, he has already bagged two major TV roles as well.
“The first professional acting role that I got was when I was cast for the Isikizi drama series at the beginning of the year, which is currently being shown on Dstv on Mzantsi Magic. “I have just finished shooting a drama series that will be shown in the UK in September, named Our Girl 2. The Isikizi drama has given me exposure because everyone watches TV and people recognise me from there. But I have always wanted to be in theatre because that is where I think your acting skills are tested because in theatre you are interacting with the audience directly unlike in TV where it is recorded,” he said.
Likho expressed his sincere gratitude to his mother, saying that it was not easy to raise two children alone but she had done everything in her power to ensure that they had everything they needed. “I only wish that my career would flourish and I pray to God to guide me into the right direction,” he said. Asked about balancing studies and acting, Likho said he had no problems.
He said it required of him to stick to his schedule which had been drafted by his agent and parents. He added that he spent most of his weekends doing his school work because during the week he spends most of his time rehearsing. The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek runs at the Fugard Studio Theatre until Saturday September 24. Tickets, ranging from R140 to R180, are available through the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or Computicket.