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Sweet Mama – Award-winning Intergalactic Cabaret

The Drum Theatre 3 mins read
Candy Bowers profile photo

6 September 2023                                                                                  

Sweet Mama by award-winning theatre artist Candy Bowers

Sweet Mama is set to examine the intergenerational effects of Type 2 diabetes via afro-futuristic storytelling live on stage.

The Drum Theatre is proud to present the Melbourne premier of Sweet Mama, by award-winning actor, playwright and director Candy Bowers. Born at Dandenong hospital to political refugees that fled Apartheid South Africa, Sweet Mama explores a subject that is close to her heart: Type 2 diabetes.

Bowers plays Sweet Mama an afro-futuristic warrior predestined to fight for her future and future generations. Armed with ancient knowledge, intergalactic technology, goofball antics, killer vocals and excellent dance moves she embarks on the greatest battle of her life; to beat the monster inside her mother’s body. 

Bowers has delved into the medical and socio-political nature of the greatest disease disproportionately affecting black and brown people globally, in Australia, and in her own family: Type 2 Diabetes. Utilising her childhood love of sci-fi fantasy, 80's video games, afro-beats and character comedy, Bowers has created a visually and sonically stunning production to tell a sometimes-heart-breaking tale of self-determination. Sweet Mama explores what it might take to break the intergenerational cycle of Type 2 diabetes, now reaching epidemic proportions.

Bowers says: “Sweet Mama is the product of significant research and hands-on care. My mother is at the pointy end of Type 2 diabetes, and family members from Australia and South Africa have been gravely affected by the disease, amplified by COVID-19. The heartbreak and fear of this phenomena have moved me to create a piece that opens up dialogue and provokes radical self-love. I have pulled together an extraordinary international team of designers and music producers to deliver this highly ambitious vision”.

Bowers has assembled a power duo of collaborators who’ve grown up between Southern Africa and Australia. Composition/sound designer Christian Biko will has produced an original score that calls on afrobeat, Amapiano, House, hip hop and South African folk music. Biko is the Executive Producer at Creative agency Bobb Creative, and simultaneously works internationally as a DJ/Producer. He has supported the likes of Mobb Deep, Arrested Development, Coolio and Madison Avenue to name a few. Costume designer Ntombi Moyo is best known as Sampa The Great’s personal designer, as well as recently heading the design team on Adele’s ‘I Drink Wine’ (2022) music video and is currently shooting Swift Street (SBS/ Magpie). Moyo has also collaborated with icons such as Rihanna, Rico Nasty, Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion.

Sweet Mama will be on The Drum Theatre stage on Friday 20 October, 10.30am and 1.30pm for schools, and Saturday 21 October, 1.30pm for the public.

Award & Achievements

2022 Recipient Creators Fund

2022 Winner TAKE-BACK! Best Variety Show Cabaret Green Room Award

2020 Nominee ONE THE BEAR Theatre for Young Audiences AWGIE Australian Writers Guild 2018 Winner Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award for Contribution to Independent Theatre

2017 Winner LILITH THE JUNGLE GIRL Best Ensemble Green Room Award

2016 Winner HOT BROWN HONEY Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form Cabaret Total Theatre Award UK

2013 Recipient NIDA Gloria Fellowship

2009 Nominee WHO’S THAT CHIK? Philip Parsons Young Playwright Award

2008 Winner Best Performance WHO’S THAT CHIK? Melbourne Fringe Festival

2008 Recipient Realise Your Dream Award British Council UK

2005 Winner INNA THIGH THE SISTA SHE STORY Directors Award + Innovative Rap Musical Melbourne Fringe Festival

To book tickets and to view The Drum’s season program visit or phone the Box Office on 8571 1666.

Proudly supported by:

Arts Centre Melbourne and Creative Victoria logos


Eliza Britton

T 8571 5153 | M 0403 648 636 | E

Candy Bowers

M 0404 635 435 I E


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