Born in Pretoria on 31 January 1985, he grew up in various towns across South Africa due to career driven parents, and finally finished school at Pietersburg Hoërskool (Polokwane) in 2003.
After studying a degree in accounting and a failed attempt at a degree in law, Henque moved to Johannesburg in 2007 to pursue a career in entertainment. He then studied drama at the Brumilda Van Rensburg Acting Academy, graduating in 2008.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
After a few small roles in commercials and television shows, he began to focus on writing, joining the popular South African soap opera Egoli- Place of Gold in their script department in 2009, to work under the mentorship of Franz Marx and Christo Compion while also serving as Marx’s assistant at Franz Marx Films.
After the cancellation of the soap in 2010, he assisted Marx and Compion in finalising the screenplays for Egoli – the Movie, and Sussanna van Biljon and then worked as a freelance writer for television and the occasional short film.
He co-founded the production company Die Melkkos Produksies in 2010, writing and producing and starring in web based short films such as Boer soek ‘n ou, St. Klaas, and TV Passie. In addition he wrote the music videos for South African Afrikaans musician Sarah Theron ("Storm in ‘n D-Cup", October 2011 and "Skil die tamaties", December 2011), South African boy-band NRG ("My Vryheid", June 2012) and Afrikaans pop group Vuurwerke ("Vuurwerke", 2012) - the videos produced by Die Melkkos Produksies.
He began writing for theatre in 2014 when commissioned by his Egoli colleague Shareen Swart to write a one-woman show based on the book The Yellow Wall-paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (first published in 1892). The play (titled Die Kamer Bo("the room upstairs") opened on 22 July 2014 at the Krêkvars Student Arts Festival, directed by Swart and starring Melinda Brink.
In 2016 Henque co-created DEURnis, South Africa’s first one-on-one site specific theatre production for which he also wrote two of the four opening pieces; Nat, performed by Stephanie Gericke and directed by Aneshree Paul and Koud, performed by Ben Pienaar and directed by Henque himself. For the second run of DEURnis in Centurion (February 2017), both Nat and Koud was performed again, along with a new work titled Portret, written and directed by Henque, performed by Zander de Beer. This run earned Henque and the writers their first ATKV Woordfeertjie nomination for best new play.
For Aardklop Kunstefees 2017 Koud was performed again along with two more of Henque’s pieces written for the festival: Anders, performed by Emil Haarhoff and Rou, performed by Dewald van der Merwe (nominated for best actor, Aardklop 2017 as well as best newcomer at the Kyknet Fiësta awards 2018 for this role). This run of DEURnis was nominated for best production at Aardklop 2017 and won the KYKnet Blou Fiësta award for groundbreaking work and earned Henque his first ATKV Woord Feertjie award win later in 2018.
DEURnis had another run in Pretoria in February 2018 as well as at the 2018 Vryfees in Bloemfontein, and was immediately invited back to Aardklop 2018 for which Henque wrote and directed Graaf, performed by Herman Vorster and Net, performed by Ben Pienaar (for which Pienaar received a best actor nomination at Woordfees 2019), as well as writing Rouer, his first 2-to-20 piece, performed by Bertha le Roux and Dewald van der Merwe and BA(R)rok, an absurd theatre piece performed by Emil Haarhoff and Marina Botha Spies.
In 2019 his play Die gypsie, die leeutemmer en die kas vol hartseer narre (a full length play in three parts) was top seller at the KKNK Uitkampteater. In July 2019 Koud and Rou had runs at the Makhanda National Arts Festival’s main festival under the DEURnis flag and has been singled out as one of acting executive producer Nobesuthu Rayi’s top picks.
He wrote his first English play, Birthing Nureyev, in 2019, which also opened at the same festival, performed by Ignatius Van Heerden and directed by André Odendaal at the festival’s Arena platform. His one-man play, Die Uitnodiging, was chosen as part of an ensemble of plays performed by Lizz Meiring and Jak De Priester under the title Die Sjokelade Show at the 2019 Innibos Arts Festival in Nelspruit under the direction of Henrietta Gryffenberg.
Personal correspondence from Henque Heymans, 13 June, 2019.
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