||Last Updated: Feb 3rd, 2006 - 10:47:12
MEDIA RELEASE For Release 31 JANUARY 2006
VICKY SAMPSON RULES THE WORLD AS THE “KILLER QUEEN”
The time is the future, in a place that was once called Earth. Globalisation is complete. Everywhere the kids watch the same movies, wear the same fashions and think the same thoughts. It’s a safe, happy gaga world ruled by the “Killer Queen”, played by the highly talented singer, songwriter and performer, VICKY SAMPSON in the multi-million Rand soon-to-be staged production of WE WILL ROCK YOU – featuring an ALL South African cast of 29 members and eight local musicians. WE WILL ROCK YOU is the award-winning West End musical by QUEEN and BEN ELTON, and is set to open its South African season on May 9 at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre.
“The incredible power, range and soul in Vicky’s voice as well as her stage presence makes her perfect for the role of ‘Killer Queen’, says WE WILL ROCK YOU’s SA Producer, Hazel Feldman. Perhaps best known for singing the award winning song, “Afrikan Dream”, Vicky released an album of the same name which has taken her to the USA, Austria, England, Germany, Sweden, Singapore and Holland where the album was released. Vicky has performed live on stage with top international artists such as Shakatak, Al Jarreau, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Peabo Bryson, George Benson, Grace Jones, Randy Crawford, the Stylistics and most recently, Westlife. As one of the principal performers in the award winning, internationally acclaimed WE WILL ROCK YOU, Vicky will continue to live her “African Dream”.
The guru figure of the coming rock rebellion is “Pop”, played by the highly respected seasoned actor, singer and performer MALCOLM TERRY. In his stage career of 32 years Malcolm has played leading roles in many major productions including “Phantom of the Opera”, “Jo’burg Follies” (8 Editions), “Who Goes Bare”, “Shear Madness”, “My Fat Friend”, “The Student Prince”, “The Merchant of Venice” and “Uproar in the House.”
“Elegant and cruel” sums up the traits of “Khashoggi”, the Killer Queen’s loyal henchman, played by well-known television and stage actor and singer, NEELS CLASEN is no stranger to musical theatre. He has played leading roles in Janice Honeyman’s Pantomimes, “Sinders and her fella” and “Cinderella” as well as performed in “Annie”, “Boogie Nights” and “FAME – The Musical”.
WE WILL ROCK YOU sees the stunning fresh new talents of HELEN BURGER in the female lead role of “Scaramouche”; Capetonian FRANCOIS SCHREUDER plays the coveted leading role of “Galileo”; Murray Todd is “Britney” and the second Capetonian in a principal role is HELEN GOLDBERG playing “0z”.
A skilled pianist, Helen Burger spent six years touring overseas where she spent three months on London’s West End performing in “Carmen” and “The Mysteries.” She returned from a two-year world tour with the international touring company of “Cats” and most recently, Helen performed in the highly successful South African production of “CHICAGO – The Musical”. Opera trained singer, television stage and film actor and dancer, FRANCOIS SCHREUDER has been working professionally for the past seventeen years. From performing the lead roles in both “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and “Benjamin Britten’s: Turn of the Screw,” to lead roles in Janice Honeyman’s “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Soul’d Out – Soul Tribute Show” Francois’ impressive career also includes local and international commercials, corporate gigs and a stint as a presenter on MNet’s Kyknet channel.
“The King & I”, “Boogie Nights”, “Oklahoma” and “That’ll be the Day” are four of the many theatre productions MURRAY TODD has performed in. For television, Murray has acted in three of South Africa’s most popular “soapies”, Jozi Streets, Isidingo and most recently “Generations”. At the age of 19, former Southern Free State hurdles athlete, HELEN GOLDBERG was chosen as one of the eight most promising young up-and-coming opera singers in the country by Opera stalwart, Mimi Coertse. After a year studying Musical Theatre in Pretoria, Helen performed in the KKNK 2005 production Coenie de Villiers en die Oggendsterre and Cape Town Opera’s acclaimed musical “Showboat” which toured Germany and Norway in 2005.
The total female company comprises of eleven performers with seven from Gauteng: LOIS DU PLESSIS (”Sex and the City”, “Who Really Freed Nelson”, “Walking in Memphis”); Coca-Cola Popstars 2002 top ten finalist LORRI GLAJCHEN (“Music in You”, “Blondes”, “7de Laan”, “Backstage”); DIANI JOUBERT (“Big Band Blast”, “CHICAGO – The Musical”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”), TALIA KODESH (“Cats”, “The Sound of Music”, “Charlotte’s Web”, “Born in the USA”, “Sleeping Beauty”); MAMELA NYAMZA (“African Footprint”, “The Lion King” Netherlands”); TAMMY PELSER (“Las Vegas Fantasy” Taiwan, “Coyote Ugly”, “Egyptian Extravaganza” Taiwan”): SIVAN RAPHELY (“Smoke & Velvet”, “Shake Your Bootie”, “Jo’Burg Follies”) and four Cape Town performers: VANESSA BRIERLEY (International productions including “Sarah Brightman World Tour, “Grease”, “Saturday Night Fever”); CAELY JO LEVY (“Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Sinderella”, “Sound of Music”, Choreographer “FHM 100 Sexiest Woman in the World Party”); JULIE LYN (“Danced at ‘The Place’ in London, “All Africa Kora Music Awards” dancer, “Hells Bells” dancer and choreographer at Grand West Casino) and LOUISA TALBOT (“Showboat”, “2002MNet Face of Africa”, “ETV’s Backstage”).
The male company of eleven performers includes two Capetonians GRANT ALMIRALL (“Abbamaniacs”, “Cats”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”, “Showboat”) and JAMES BRADLEY (“African Footprint”, “Die Fledermaus”, “Blood Wedding”). The Gauteng performers are LUAN DE BEER (12 years training as a Singer and Saxophonist with Industrial Theatre and compere experience); FERDI GERNANDT (“African Footprint”, “Royal Variety Performance”, “Calendar Boys”, “CHICAGO – The Musical”, Goldilocks & The 3 Bears);IVAN GIANI (“African Footprint”, “Born in the USA”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “7de Laan”, “Backstage”, CARLO McFARLANE (“FAME – The Musical”, “Big Band Blast”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “ETV’s Backstage”); SIBUSISO RADEBE (Vusi in “ETV’s Backstage”, starred in a movie - “The Trail”, FNB Dance Umbrella 2004, “CHICAGO – The Musical”, “Goldilocks & the 3 Bears”); ASHLEY SEARLE is from Pretoria (“African Footprint – SA, Germany, Monte Carlo”, “Las Vegas Fantasy – Taiwan”, “FAME – The Musical”, “CHICAGO – The Musical”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”); FRANCOIS THERON (“La Cage Aux Folles”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”, “Grease”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) and former boy band Hi-5 member SHAUN “V” (VAN STADEN) (“Oh Boy, “Nataniel & Friends” at the Royal Albert Hall, London). DEAN ROBERTS (“Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Oliver”, “A Westside Story”) from Durban completes the line-up.
“Although gruelling, the audition process went smoothly and very proud to feature a South African cast equal to the best in the world,” commented Hazel Feldman. “The visiting international creative team had some pretty tough choices to make.” says Hazel Feldman.
The production’s experienced international team from Australia - associate director, Andrew Pole and associate choreographer Lisa O’Dea together with the show’s London-based international music supervisor, Mike Dixon are most impressed with the high standard of South African talent.
Says Andrew Pole, “It was fantastic to arrive in South Africa on behalf of Brian May, Roger Taylor, and of course Ben Elton to begin work on the new production of We Will Rock You! Lisa O'Dea and I had a very busy and rewarding two weeks working alongside a strong South African creative team to find a cast of singers, dancers and actors who can bring this Rock Epic to life. We have not been disappointed. This country has a very strong if small pool of highly talented and charismatic performers, and the show has been successfully cast entirely from South African talent!! We know that Brian, Roger and Ben are personally interested in this exciting new production and are thrilled that the casting has been so fruitful. My advice to all in South Africa is this: GET READY TO BE ROCKED!!”
“I had no idea what the level of talent in SA was before I arrived for the final auditions. I was pleasantly surprised. We saw some very talented people, both performers and musicians. Knowing that the musical theatre world is quite small I was encouraged by some fine singers and dancers. I think that in time - if more big shows come over - this could be a thriving place! Bring it on....Very much looking forward to seeing how this lovely cast and band. Shape up! We Will Rock You - you better believe it!”, says Mike Dixon.
The enormous scale, size and cost of the show makes WE WILL ROCK YOU one of the biggest musicals ever staged in South Africa. Not only does the show have a large cast, it is also a huge and highly technical and physical production boasting fourteen 40ft pantechnicons of sound equipment. Also making the show unique is the careful guidance the cast and band will enjoy working under Mike Dixon who works closely with “Queen” band members, BRIAN MAY and ROGER TAYLOR who show an intense personal interest in the entire concept of the show, from start to finish.
This lavish rock theatrical production featuring 24 of Queen's greatest hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are The Champions,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
“WE WILL ROCK YOU continues to play to sold-out houses at London's Dominion Theatre - where it has been running since May 2002, and recently celebrated the distinction of becoming the longest-running musical ever to play at the Dominion, one of the West End's largest theatres. In addition to an ongoing Spanish-language touring production in Spain, WE WILL ROCK YOU also continues to break box office records in Germany, where it is the number one grossing musical of all time. Globally, the show has now been seen by more than 5 million people.
The South African creative team working behind the scenes on WE WILL ROCK YOU comprises of the highly talented musical director, arranger and pianist, Bryan Schimmel - the show’s Musical Director. Jill Somers is the Assistant Choreographer and Company Manager; Alistair Kilbee is the Technical Manager and Bryan Hill is the Resident Director.
WE WILL ROCK YOU opens at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre on Tuesday, 09 May 2006. Thereafter the show moves to Cape Town’s Artscape Theatre from Tuesday, 25 July 2006, followed by a limited season at The Playhouse Company in Durban commencing on Saturday, 30 September 2006. To book, call Computicket on 083 915 8000, or book on line at www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket outlet. For show information, visit www.wewillrockyou.co.za
The South African cast is ready to take you on a journey into the future, guaranteed to blow your mind! SOUTH AFRICA – ARE YOU READY TO ROCK!
WE WILL ROCK YOU is brought to South Africa by INVESTEC, produced by Hazel Feldman of Showtime Management with a combined South African and international creative team. The Executive Producer is Global Capital. ENDS.
WE WILL ROCK YOU SA 2006 CAST LIST
HELEN BURGER SCARAMOUCHE JHB
FRANCOIS SCHREUDER GALILEO CAPE TOWN
VICKY SAMPSON KILLER QUEEN JHB
NEELS CLASEN KHASHOGGI JHB
MURRAY TODD BRITNEY JHB
HELEN GOLDBERG OZ CAPE TOWN
MALCOLM TERREY POP JHB
COMPANY – FEMALE
VANESSA BRIERLEY CAPE TOWN
LOIS DU PLESSIS JHB
LORRI GLAJCHEN JHB
DIANI JOUBERT JHB
TALIA KODESH JHB
CAELY JO LEVY CAPE TOWN
MAMELA NYAMZA JHB
JULIE LYN MES CAPE TOWN
TAMMY PELSER JHB
SIVAN RAPHELY JHB
LOUISA TALBOT CAPE TOWN
COMPANY – MALE
GRANT ALMIRALL CAPE TOWN
JAMES BRADLEY CAPE TOWN
LUAN DE BEER JHB
FERDI GERNANDT JHB
IVAN GIANI JHB
CARLO MCFARLANE JHB
SIBUSISO RADEBE JHB
DEAN ROBERTS JHB
ASHLEY SEARLE DURBAN
SHAUN VAN STADEN PRETORIA
FRANCOIS THERON JHB
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