Two trailblazing stars of the Australian music scene, Joelistics and James Mangohig, will present a vibrant, contemporary portrayal of the Asian Australian experience in their critically-acclaimed production, In Between Two at the Riverside Theatres in March and the ARA Darling Quarter Theatre in April 2019.
Written, composed and performed by Joelistics and James Mangohig, In Between Two tells their respective stories of being half-Asian, growing up in Australia, and feeling stuck between two cultural worlds.
The pair lovingly paint a canvas of their family histories which are as complex and layered as their lyrics – filled with failed proposals and religious strictures, casual racism and empowerment. Their sharp and provocative hip-hop, rap and instrumental music is combined with compelling storytelling and projected image, to explore the forces that have helped shape their way.
Two icons of the Australian hip-hop scene, James Mangohig is an ARIA-nominated producer, and Joelistics is best known as the founder of award-winning hip-hop group, TZU.
Produced by Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, In Between Two is directed by Suzanne Chaundy and developed with master storyteller William Yang and writer Annette Shun Wah (co-directors of Life Giving Stories, Stories East & West and Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta’s Who Speaks for Me?).
“What has struck me most in the discussion around the development of this work is that this is an Australian story so far away from any other Australian story I’ve seen on our stages, and is a true reflection of the multitude of diverse histories that make up our country in the 21st Century,” said Chaundy.
Joel Ma (AKA Joelistics) is a rapper, writer, spoken word artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer, recognised as a unique voice in the Australian music scene. In 2002, he founded seminal alt-rap group TZU which built a solid reputation around their electric live performances and inventiveness in the studio. Along the way, they picked up nominations for the Australian Music Prize, J Award and APRA Award.
His solo album Voyager, released in 2011 and written on a laptop between China, Mongolia and Europe, opened up a new lane in hip hop. Then came Blue Volume, described by Rolling Stone as “a celebration and mourning of the current state of the world, voiced by a smart, incisive writer.”
James Mangohig is an ARIA nominated producer from Darwin, Australia. Starting out as a bass player for numerous bands in his hometown, he went on to produce pulsating beats with a strong love of synths and sub that challenge even the best-built PA systems. In the mid 2000s, James formed Sietta with vocalist and songwriter Caiti Baker. They released two albums and two EPs to widespread critical acclaim and toured nationally and internationally for eight years.
Now a Director of Darwin’s Perambulator Management, Mangohig’s studio skills continue to be in high demand, working with artists such as Daniel Johns (Silverchair), Jessica Mauboy, Dr G Yunupingu, Drapht, Briggs, 360, B2M, KLP, Manuel Dhurrkay Sunameke (Tep Tok), Serina Pech, A B Original and other ground-breaking contemporary and Indigenous artists.
“This is a hip hop show unlike any other. An Australian narrative challenging how you think, how you feel about society and its moral fibre.” – The Music
Director: Suzanne Chaundy Writers, Composers and Performers: Joelistics, James Mangohig Set Designer: Eugyeene Teh Lighting Designer: Lucy Birkinshaw Visual Designer: Jean Poole Dramaturges: Annette Shun Wah, William Yang Producer: Annette Shun Wah
In Between Two
Lennox Theatre – Riverside Theatres, Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Performances: 28 – 30 March 2019
Information and Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au
ARA Darling Quarter Theatre, 1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney
Performances: 4 – 5 April 2019
Information and Bookings: www.monkeybaa.com.au
Image: James Mangohig and Joel Ma (AKA Joelistics) – photo by Sarah Walker