Exciting news on the musical theatre horizon!
A brand-new production and major extensive world tour of Queen and Ben Elton’s multi-award-winning rock musical We Will Rock You will embark next year at Cape Town’s Artscape Theatre Centre on Saturday, 05 September 2020 for a five-week season ending on 04 October 2020. Thereafter the show opens at Montecasino’s Teatro, Johannesburg from Saturday, 10 October to Sunday, 22 November 2020 before setting sail on the ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ touring Asia and Europe in 2020 and 2021. Tickets are on sale at Computicket.
A 20% Early Bird special discount is available for the month of December 2019 across all ticket prices valid for the first Wednesday and Thursday performances in both cities i.e. 9 and 10 September at Artscape and 14 and 15 October 2020 at Montecasino. The “Extra Early Bird” special offer does not apply to any other show discount.
The musical is produced by SA promoter, Showtime Management in conjunction with Selladoor Worldwide, Carlos Candal, Gavin Kalin Productions and Limelight Productions. “Showtime Management is excited to be involved in a new partnership with international producers to bring the new generation We Will Rock You hit stage production to this country in 2020 before going on a world tour. We have successfully produced a number of Broadway and West End hits in South Africa featuring SA talent that have gone on to critical acclaim in various overseas territories. Revisiting We Will Rock You as an originating partner with our new international partners on this new look production is a proud milestone for Showtime.” says Hazel Feldman. Showtime Management previously staged We Will Rock You in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in 2005 and 2006 to rave reviews and nightly standing ovations. Following sold-out seasons in South Africa, the show then enjoyed a highly successful tour to New Zealand and Korea in 2007.
Telling the story of a group of bohemians in a dystopian future and featuring 24 of Queen’s greatest hits, We Will Rock You will be directed and choreographed by Olivier Award nominee Nick Winston (Annie, Loserville, Waiting for Godot). The production will feature set design by Tom Rogers, costume design by Hayley Grindle, lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Ben Harrison. We Will Rock You has a combined South African and international creative team. Full casting and further dates and venues to be announced in due course.
Galileo, Scaramoche and Killer Queen are a few of the leading characters who will take audiences on a journey into the future. South Africa, are you ready to rock in 2020? Book now for We Will Rock You by calling Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or book online at www.computicket.com Computicket is the official exclusive ticketing agent and tickets should not be purchased from any other supplier/outlets.
WE WILL ROCK YOU ONLINE
CAPE TOWN: Artscape Theatre Centre
Saturday, 05 September 2020 to 04 October 2020.
JOHANNESBURG: Montecasino’s Teatro
Saturday, 10 October to Sunday, 22 November 2020
No Monday performances
Weekdays: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 20h00
Weekends: Saturdays 15h00, 20h00; Sundays 14h00, 18h00
TICKET PRICES including VAT
Midweek (Wednesday, Thursdays and Sundays 18h00): R200, R250, R320, R400
Weekend (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 14h00): R250, R320, R420, R500
Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket outlet
20% Discount on groups of 20 and more –Wednesdays, Thursday and Sunday 6pm performances only valid for the top two prices.
Contact Jill Somers on 079 218 1658, email@example.com
SPECIAL DISCOUNTS Terrific Tuesdays
Only valid for Tuesday performances: R100, R150, R250, R350.
Not valid with any other discount offer.
Wednesdays & Sundays 18h00 @ R250.00 per ticket (subject to availability) on the top two ticket prices.
Tickets may only be purchased from a Computicket outlet or at the Box Office subject to presentation of a valid ID.
Only one ticket per valid ID.
MONTECASINO GROUP HOSPITALITY PACKAGES:
Not available on Terrific Tuesdays, Saturday shows and Sunday matinee performances.
(20+ tickets) firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 367 4250.
*** AN EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITY TO WIN FRONT ROW TICKETS TO ONE OF THE HOTTEST SHOWS IN JOBURG, INCLUDING A MEET + GREET WITH SOME OF THE CAST!! ***
STAR-STUDDED ALL SA CAST ROCKS MONTECASINO
“Come on feel the noize!” Broadway’s smash hit musical, Rock of Ages is rocking Montecasino’s Teatro until Sunday, 20 October 2019. This jukebox musical features 28 classic rock songs from the 1980s including hits “Don’t Stop Believing”, “The Final Countdown”, “Here I Go Again” and many more. As the humorous high-energy
storyline unfolds, the audience takes a journey back to a colourful era while singing-a-long to rock anthems that come alive on stage. Rock of Ages is a feel-good stage production where audiences are rocking in their seats at every performance.
“Any way you want it” The extraordinary characters and roller-coaster story that turned Rock of Ages into a global phenomenon are brought to life by a dynamic all-South African cast, band and production team. The star-studded Rock of Ages cast features this
country’s finest talent across the entertainment spectrum including musical theatre, television shows, concerts, movies and recording artists.
Vocalist, producer and “WONDERboom” band frontman, “Cito” (Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess – The Musical, Black Sails) is cast as the male lead playing ‘Stacee Jaxx’ with The Voice SA 2017 runner up, Josh Ansley (Jesus Christ Superstar) in the role of ‘Drew’ and singer, actor, director and producer Zak Hendrikz (Mr Bones 2, Rocky Horror Show) as ‘Lonny’. Popular actor, writer and award-winning director, Neels Clasen (Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You, Annie) is cast as ‘Hertz’ and actor and drama lecturer, Matt Counihan (Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Saturday Night Fever), plays the role of ‘Franz’. Twenty-one-year-old female lead Jessica Driver (Born to Perform, Night with the Stars) plays ‘Sherrie’ and Lois du Plessis (We Will Rock You, Backstage, Jozi Streets ) in the role of ‘Justice’ returns to South Africa after living in the USA for almost twelve years.
Returning from the highly successful CHICAGO The Musical world tour, sees former West End and SA performer Craig Urbani (Sound of Music, West Side Story, Grease), Natasha van der Merwe (Mamma Mia!, Sister Act) and Raquel Munn (Singin’ in the Rain, Saturday Night Fever) in principal roles with fellow CHICAGO cast members Alex Girard and Stefania du Toit joining Lara Kleynhans, and Chantel Stanfield to complete the female ensemble. Lebohang Toko (Mamma Mia!, The Colour Purple) and Adam Benefeld perform alongside the male ensemble members Thokozani Jiyane, JP Rossouw, Ryan Flynn.
“Hit me with your best shot” Produced by Montecasino in association with VR Theatrical, Rock of Ages combines the highly talented production team of Executive Producer, Jaco Van Rensburg (I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Hedwig and the
Angry Inch; Here’s to You Simon & Garfunkel Songbook); Director and Choreographer, Timothy Le Roux (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Colour Purple, Showboat) and Musical Director/Associate Producer, Wessel Odendaal (Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof) who leads the five-piece live band.
“We are delighted to be co-producing this revamped production of Rock of Ages with Jaco van Rensburg and his expert team,” says Gareth Kaschula, Montecasino’s Marketing Manager. “With South Africa’s finest talent on and off stage, this production is a
feast of comedy, glamour rock, outrageous hairstyles and never-ending guitar solos to bring the 1980’s back to life in the most entertaining way.”
“Here I go again” Nominated for five Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Rock of Ages captures the iconic era that was the big bad 1980s Hollywood. The nostalgic rock anthems include the music of Bon Jovi, Journey, Twisted Sister, Styx, Poison, Foreigner,
REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar and many other great rock bands – this musical truly is larger than life!
“We built this city” After six years on Broadway, followed by a Las Vegas season and a nation-wide tour of the USA and productions in London, Tokyo, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Panama City, Manila, Malta, Singapore and other territories this smash hit musical guarantees patrons an evening of “High energy feel-good nostalgia” (Sunday Express) and a show that’s “Impossible to resist” (New York Times). “Rock of Ages epitomises Tsogo Sun’s Gaming ethos of providing world class entertainment while investing in the growth and development of local talent,” says Helen Stewart, Director of Marketing, Tsogo Sun Gaming who added, “We are proud to share this production’s milestone, a ten year Broadway anniversary by bringing nostalgia, memorable hits and a rocking night out at The Teatro.”
“I wanna Rock!” Rock of Ages is a rock ‘n roll romance set on the Sunset Strip in The Bourbon Room, the last epic venue where the legendary Stacee Jaxx returns to the stage and rock-n-roll dreamers line up to turn their fantasies into reality – celebrating a
“Nothin but a good time!” Rock of Ages is a seriously mindless, ridiculously enjoyable glamour-rock musical that is not to be missed! It’s the hilarious book by Chris D’Arienzo that drives the piece. There’s great comedy, stellar performances and great music – all the ingredients of a great night out!
Owing to adult themes, a PG13SL is recommended.
** YOUR CHANCE TO WIN WITH ROCK OF AGES AND MONTECASINO!**
Win one of two sets of front row double tickets to ROCK OF AGES at Montecasino’s Teatro on Wednesday, 16 October at 8pm plus a meet and greet with some of the cast after the show.
Here’s how you can enter to be in with a chance to win:
- TELL ME YOUR FAVOURITE SONG FROM THE SHOW
- TAG A FRIEND WHO YOU’D LOVE TO ROCK ALONG WITH AT ROCK OF AGES
- YOU CAN ENTER HERE, ON MY FACEBOOK, TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM PAGES
- THE COMPETITION CLOSES AT 10.00AM ON FRIDAY 11 OCTOBER
- WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY 16.00PM ON FRIDAY 11 OCTOBER
Standard terms and conditions:
- Tickets are only valid for the specified date and performance time and may not be upgraded, exchanged for cash or for an alternate performance.
- The prize comprises of two show tickets only.
- We are unable to assist with bookings for additional tickets which may be purchased direct from Computicket. Tickets alongside prize winners tickets are not available as prize tickets are part of a block booking.
- Tickets are available for collection from the box office from 5pm on the date of the performance.
- The prize is not transferable.
- Lost tickets will not be replaced.
- By entering this competition the prize winner accepts the terms and conditions.
BORN TO PERFORM presents SHINE! 2019
Born To Perform founders Gemma and Matthew Marinus recently took some time out from their hectic schedules to chat to me about this year’s exciting, upcoming production, SHINE! MC for the show, popular rising star, Zinah, also joined us.
Born to Perform was born out of the Stageworx school for performing arts. Stageworx is a space where Gemma encourages authenticity at all times. All who attend are taught the importance of respecting themselves, each other and the world around them. She acknowledges though, that today’s kids struggle to communicate directly because of social media. Stageworx uses the arts to guide them in understanding who they are, what they are and where they position themselves in the world as human beings.
Matthew adds that with the kids who study song-writing (these are the ones he predominantly works with), he’s found that there’s a need for them to understand who they are without the ‘outside noise’ of everyone’s opinions.
One of the fundamental principles of Stageworx is to celebrate all people and their successes. There are many doors and many opportunities, and it’s essential for these kids to understand this process and applaud others when a particular opportunity wasn’t theirs.
Gemma firmly believes that it’s their job as teachers and mentors to continually ask how they can handle situations better with young people if you feel you may have handled a difficult situation poorly. Even in conflict, she always tries to give them a learning situation, asking them to “Express how you were feeling …” She feels that if you allow the kids to analyse themselves, they learn how to approach various life situations and by doing so, she’s creating better humans.
I asked Gemma if she’d ever open up another branch of Stageworx? She replies that it’s not on the cards. “Stageworx is a personal experience, which is why there’s only one school.” For her, it’s not about the numbers. It’s about the quality of the experience and the time she gives to the kids. She wouldn’t be able to give her all, like she’s doing now if she had to split herself between more than one school.
She tells me that when she was a teenager, she grabbed every single opportunity to perform. “It takes years of practice to be an overnight success! You need to be ready!” All that experience accumulated, and when the time was right, it all came together. “You need to eat, sleep, breathe the industry and want it enough to do the work!” This is the message that she imparts to every single young person who dreams of a future in any of the performing arts fields.
That passion really goes into Stageworx a full 100% and I couldn’t imagine it being diluted in any way by Gemma opening up somewhere else and trying to replicate it, or relying on someone else to do it for her!
Zinah tells us that she was bullied at school. She always thought that she was a bad person because of this. But she’s come to learn that your own experience can be a learning experience for someone else. She (quite rightly) feels that we’re always so fixated on trying to change people, as opposed to just understanding them. Kids and teens tend to live in their own self-absorbed bubble and aren’t aware that others are going through the same stuff.
Coming out of Women’s Month and a heightened awareness of the horrific increase in crimes against women and children, I had to ask Zinah about her latest music video for her newly released single, ‘Ever Been’. The song is stunning and the video itself is visually slick and stylish, but I was interested to know why Zinah had willingly portrayed herself in such an openly provocative manner. Although she’s clearly absolutely gorgeous, it concerned me that it would send young girls (and men) the wrong message.
Her response is one that all of those who see the video need to hear: Zinah told us that since appearing in last year’s show, she’s had a big shift in how she conducts herself with people. As a product of Stageworx, she had the privilege of seeing that it was run by a strong woman who taught her how to work as a woman in this industry. After years of feeling inhibited and unworthy, she’s now finally comfortable in her own skin and is proud of who she is. She strongly believes that women shouldn’t be objectified, and is ready to own who she is!
Zinah also spoke about being able to work with people she was completely comfortable with and spoke so highly of Matthew and the way in which he guided her every step of the way, ensuring that she was happy with the creative process.
And then she drops a bombshell! She tells us that one of the other reasons she was ready to do a music video like this, ready to own how she looks and put herself out there, showing how truly beautiful she is, was because she was sexually abused when she was seven years old! I think that to say we were all stunned would be an understatement! We were even more shocked to learn that she only told her parents about this three weeks before our meet-up!
Zinah went on to say that it was a huge transition to move from expecting to be disrespected to knowing that you deserve respect because you’re now comfortable in your own skin; knowing that you’ve forgiven that person and have been able to move on. She tells us that it’s healing for herself. She knows she deserves love and deserves NOT to be objectified.
If she can be someone who speaks for positivity and strength on women’s ability to say NO, then she wants to be that person. She quotes Gemma, who often says, “Kindness is key.”
Gemma reminds us that people can be extremely unforgiving when they don’t even know the full story – all they see is a picture of a video.
She says that we’re lucky to live in the world we’re in as women, compared to where we’ve come from with many more women being in high-end corporate positions than there were 10 or 20 years ago. She tells me that her Born To Perform vision -from when they staged their first shown in 2015 – was always to perform on the Teatro stage! And that’s exactly where they’ll be next weekend for just 4 shows from 13 – 15 September. And they’ve had nothing buy support from the ‘powers that be’ at Montecasino.
She goes on to speak in glowing terms about her ‘mentor and voice of reason’, Bryan Schimmel, her producer and creative partner. Although he was overseas with the international tour of ‘Chicago’ for much of the run-up to SHINE! they’ve spoken every single day and he has still been as involved as he would have been, had he been right here! He’s also been Zinah’s mentor since last year.
What can people expect from this year’s production of SHINE!!? A showcase of amazing young talent! 450 spectacular young performers on stage, together with celebrity appearances by The Voice SA Season 2 winner, Craig Lucas and The Voice SA finalist Thembeka Mnguni and a special appearance from The Voice SA Season 3 Finalist, Yahto Kraft.
There will also be moving performances from Buddy Sacks and St Vincents School of the Deaf, and performers from Fourways High School, Mondeor High School, Curro Aurora – Sundowner and New Generation Pantsula Dancers from Alexandra.
SHINE! 2019 is on stage for FOUR SHOWS ONLY at The Teatro at Montecasino:
Friday 13 September at 20h00
Saturday 14 September at 15h00 & 20h00
Sunday 15 September at 15h00.
Tickets range from R180 – R320 and can be booked online at www.montecasino.co.za or through Computicket.
Various Public Group Bookings and Tsogo Sun Rewards Discounts are available through Computicket.
Group School Bookings are available on request by emailing email@example.com .
Upon confirmation, Group School Bookings of 20 seats and more will receive the added benefit of a SHINE! Workshop delivered by Born To Perform, at their school.
** A special performance made accessible for the deaf community will be taking place on Saturday 14th September at the 15h00 performance, with an on-stage signer.
At this performance, audiences have access to the Opticon system for the hearing impaired. This facility is only available in specific seats within The Teatro, so bookings would need to be made directly with the Teatro Box Office on 011 510 7472. **
Watch the advert for SHINE! 2019: https://youtu.be/RhiF_Jb0WQQ
Follow Born to Perform on Social Media (where you can also catch lots of rehearsal clips!):
Instagram : borntoperform.world
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/Borntoperformgala
YouTube: Born To Perform TV
Montecasino will rock you at the Bohemian Rhapsody Sing-Along Experience
For most of the world, from the first beat of a Queen song nostalgia takes hold, instinct takes over and voices start belting out the lyrics we know and love – ‘We will we will rock you’, ‘We are the champions (no time for losers)’, ‘All we hear is radio ga ga radio goo goo’… and possibly the greatest arena rock song of all time, ‘Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?’ Bohemian Rhapsody.
These and more ultimate sing-along classics will be taking to the giant screen in the comfort of Montecasino’s Teatro (https://www.tsogosun.com/montecasino/entertainment/theatre/teatro) for a four-show ‘raise the roof’ Bohemian Rhapsody Sing-Along Experience (https://www.tsogosun.com/montecasino/whatson/teatro/bohemian-rhapsody-sing-along) on 28, 29 and 30 June. Based on the life Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant lead singer of British rock band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody won more awards than any other film in this year’s Academy Awards (including Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role), and the Sing-Along Experience takes this blockbuster experience to the next level, delivering an amazing sing-out-loud experience, with concert quality sound.
Sing-alongers are also encouraged to dress up as their best-loved rock star, squeeze on their tight pants, and be the star of the show, with great prizes and giveaways for the best dressed and favourite audience members. To add to the excitement, a live band will perform on stage before the screening to help warm up your vocal chords and get your best singing voice on.
The Sing-Along Experience is the only movie screening where you are encouraged to make noise, lots of it, even if your family insist you only sing in the shower!
It’s a not-to-be-missed event for all rock fans – and seats are limited and unreserved so book early and then arrive early to secure your seats.
Mike Page, Operations Director and Complex GM of Montecasino (https://www.tsogosun.com/montecasino), says, “Queen, Freddie Mercury, and Bohemian Rhapsody were a world-wide phenomenon and the movie reminded us how big their influence in our lives is still today. We know them and their music and the Montecasino Bohemian Rhapsody Sing-Along Experience will deliver an unforgettable event that’s captured perfectly in Queen’s famous lyrics: ‘So don’t stop me now, don’t stop me, ’cause I’m having a good time, having a good time…’.”
Shows are on Friday 28 June at 8pm, Saturday 29 June at 3pm and 8pm, and Sunday 30 June at 3pm. Limited tickets are available through www.quicket.co.za.
*** GIVEAWAY ***
I have one set of double tickets to give away for the Sunday show at 15h00!!
Just tell me in the comments what your favourite Queen song is to put yourself in line to win! It’s as simple as that. To increase your chances, enter on Twitter and Instagram too! I’ll be announcing the winner on Friday at 12h00 midday.
Where rhythm speaks every language …
From London and Paris to Las Vegas and New York STOMP makes music with brooms, matchboxes, hands and feet, poles, chairs, sinks, basketballs, newspapers and more, climaxing with the exhilarating trademark bins routine, where metal trashcans become drums and dustbin lids become combat shields. The encore engages the audience in a call and response that proves rhythm is a universal language.
This wildly entertaining international show heads to South Africa later this year opening at Montecasino’s Teatro on Tuesday, 13 August for a four week season ending on Sunday, 08 September 2019. Thereafter STOMP moves to Cape Town, on stage at Artscape from Wednesday, 11 September to Sunday, 22 September 2019. Tickets are available only from Computicket, the show’s exclusive authorised ticketing agent. The show is brought to this country by leading local show promoter, Showtime Management in association with BBC First.
STOMP finds beauty and music in the mundane. It turns brooms into instruments and handclapping into a conversation; the junk and clutter of urban life becomes the source of infectious rhythm and wonder. The highly talented performers take the audience on a journey through sound, where rhythm is the only language.
Guaranteed to make your heart pound as the infectious rhythms of 8 brilliantly synchronised STOMP performers beat truck inner tubes, rubber hosing, Zippo lighters, plastic bags, metal dustbins, bin lids, tubs, water butts and, yes, even the kitchen sink! And then there are the brooms that are turned into soft shoe partners.
STOMP is a unique combination of percussion, dance and physical comedy: seen by over 12 million people worldwide, there have been long running productions in London, Paris, Las Vegas, Boston and San Francisco, with the flagship New York still running, now celebrating its 25th year. There are up to 4 STOMP productions around the globe at any given time. STOMP has been touring the globe for 26 years, playing over 20 thousand performances in 55 countries on 6 continents. STOMP also performed in London’s West end for 15 years.
Created in Brighton, UK, in the summer of 1991, STOMP was the result of a ten year collaboration between its creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. The popularity ofSTOMP continually grew from strength to strength resulting in the cast performing live at the 1996 Academy Awards (the Oscars) to an estimated audience of almost 1 billion worldwide. The largest assembly of STOMP performers ever (40 performers from 12 different countries) was brought together for a specially choreographed appearance at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more fill the stage with energizing beats at STOMP, the inventive and invigorating stage show that’s dance, music and theatrical performance blended together in one electrifying rhythm. The show toured South Africa in 2010 to critical acclaim and sold out performances. “The sizzling energy of STOMP is beyond infectious” says Hazel Feldman of Showtime Management, the show’s local promoter. “Almost a decade later we welcome STOMP back this country to share its unique and energetic artform while introducing it to a new generation of theatre-goers.”
Book now for STOMP by calling Computicket on 083 915 8000 or book online at www.computicket.com Computicket is the official ticketing partner for STOMP, and tickets should not be purchased from any other supplier/outlets. Visit www.stomp.co.uk for more information.
STOMP ONLINE #STOMPSA
JOHANNESBURG: Montecasino’s Teatro
Tuesday, 13 August to Sunday, 08 September 2019
CAPE TOWN: Artscape Opera House
Wednesday, 11 September to Sunday, 22 September 2019
No Monday performances
Weekdays: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 20h00
Weekends: Saturdays 15h00 & 20h00; Sundays 14h00 & 18h00
Performance: 1 hour 40 minutes with no interval
TICKET PRICES including VAT
Midweek (Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays 18h00): R150, R200, R300
Weekend (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 13h30): R200, R300, R400,
Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or
visit your nearest Computicket outlet
20% Discount on groups of 20 and more – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday
and Sunday 6pm performances only valid for the top two prices.
Contact Jill Somers on 079 218 1658, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday at 8pm & Sunday at 6pm ONLY
R150 on the top two prices
Only available at Computicket Outlets upon presentation of a valid identity document
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: No children under 3 years.
MONTECASINO GROUP HOSPITALITY PACKAGES:
(20+ tickets) email@example.com or 011 367 4250
STOMP has won the following awards: Olivier Awards in 1994 for Best Entertainment and Best Choreography; OBIE in 1994 for the off-Broadway show; Drama Desk Awardin New York for Most Unique Theatre Experience; Academy Award nomination (1996) for the STOMP-oriented film ‘Brooms’ (which was selected for screening at both Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals); German Newspaper Abendzeitung Awards for Star of the Year for Luke Cresswell and STOMP in 1997; the Silver FIPA Award (Biarritz) for the STOMP special for HBO – ‘STOMP Out Loud’ (1998); the Chicago Human Rhythm Project JUBA! Award for Ground-Breaking Achievement in Tap and Percussive Dance in 1998 for Luke Cresswell; four Emmy nominations (1998) for ‘STOMP Out Loud’ with an Emmy Award for Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Mini-series; in 1998 the Royal Television Society’s Southern Centre Award for Most Innovative Production for ‘STOMP Out Loud’; Manchester Evening News nomination for Best Special Entertainment in 1999.
STOMP has featured in two commercials for JACCS in Japan; one for Apples in Australia; one for Heinekin in the UK; one for Coca-Cola ‘Ice-Pick’, international; five commercials for Target Department stores in the US, three for Toyota in Japan and one for SEAT in Europe. The Target, SEAT and Toyota advertisements were directed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. The Target advertisements won the US RAC Award for Best TV campaign of 1994 and the Apples advertisement won a Silver Lion at Cannes.
Move over Harry Potter! There’s a new wizard in town … a Guitar Wizard!
When Marcin Patrzalek was 10 years old, his father decided he needed to take up some sort of extra-curricular activity. He hadn’t shown much proficiency for sport up to that point, so when his dad bumped into an old friend one day in a tennis store, who just happened to be a guitar teacher, inspiration struck! Marcin could learn to play the guitar! Only one problem: this friend of his dad’s really didn’t like kids and refused to teach him! However, he did refer him to a fellow teacher, and the rest (as they say) is history.
Marcin tells me that he has always loved ‘sound’ – not actual music, but sounds themselves. When he was a child, he used to play with toys, as any child does, but he remained completely silent while doing so, all the time imagining in his head the sounds they were making. Apparently, adults found this somewhat disturbing!
So he initially took up classical guitar lessons, just for a starter course of 10 days. His teacher immediately recognised that here was someone, regardless of his young age, who possessed a gift. There was no doubt that after those initial 10 days were up, Marcin would continue learning to play the guitar and after just 3 months of lessons, he won his first competition.
Although he had no formal music schedule, it was evident that music came naturally to Marcin. He thoroughly enjoyed it, and it quickly became part of his daily routine. By the age of 12 he discovered Flamenco. He was fortunate to meet Professor Carlos Pinana when he visited Poland and attended his workshops after which Pinana proposed that he would continue to teach Marcin through Skype!
Marcin emphasises that both his teachers were extremely strict. He tells me that his Classical teacher, in particular, was very eccentric and an absolute perfectionist. I asked how he’d felt when Marcin started to branch out from the Classical style that he’d started with, experimenting with new and different styles of music. He tells me that initially his teacher was quite upset but that eventually he has come around to a grudging acceptance of the music Marcin plays now. The two remain exceptionally close, and Marcin tells me how important it is to stay close to your roots in order to know where you’ve come from.
When he was 14, Marcin played in the biggest music show in Poland – ‘Must Be The Music’. He selected a well-known piece called ‘Asturius’, however he had created his own experimental (and controversial) arrangement. And he won!
Well after that he became even more motivated – if that was even possible, because he came across as highly self-motivated before this! He didn’t have an acoustic guitar teacher so the Internet became the best teacher he had. He already had good knowledge of theory and sheet music, thanks to his excellent grounding from his Classical guitar teacher, and he started composing and arranging his own pieces.
In 2016 Marcin released his first album – ‘Hush’. If you want to know the story behind the name, you absolutely have to go to one of his shows. Info on his remaining SA shows is at the end of this post, so keep reading! (Pretoria and Cape Town – you’re in for a treat. If you haven’t booked tickets you’re going to kick yourselves! AND NOW – DUE TO PUBLIC DEMAND – AN EXTRA SHOW IN PRETORIA ON 8 MARCH AT 5.30pm!! )
In 2017 he released ‘Toxicity’ – it went out on Marcin’s Facebook page and went viral! Literally millions viewed it. Incidentally, to date, Marcin has amassed 80 million YouTube views! Yup, you read that right … EIGHTY MILLION!!
An endorsement from Ibanez, the 2nd largest guitar brand in the world soon followed, and the doors just kept opening: invitations to perform overseas started arriving, and the world beckoned! In December 2018 Marcin was invited to participate in ‘Italy’s Got Talent’ – all thanks to one of the producers seeing his video online, which resulted in this invitation. Initially, Marcin assumed he’d just be a guest performer on the show, but when he arrived he discovered he’d actually be competing! He played his arrangement of Beethoven’s 5th live, for the first time … and got a Golden Pass from his audition to the final! He went on to win the competition!
I need to emphasise here, that Marcin tells me all of this with the utmost of humility. He is a truly modest, extremely unpretentious young man who is mature way beyond his years. Again, you need to go to his show to witness the easy way he interacts with his audience – not brash, not over-confident – just easy-going and so, so likeable. He good-naturedly shrugs off my questions about how he feels about being described as a ‘prodigy’ and a ‘whizz-kid’. His response being that people can call it what they like, but he’s just going out there and doing what he loves.
All this is undoubtedly thanks to his grounded family life. He has an older brother of 25, and although there’s a bit of an age difference, he’s very involved and supportive in all that Marcin does. His parents travel with him, and he tells me that the credo he lives by is one that his father (who acts as his manager/agent) has given him: “Go out there and play the best you can. Don’t pay attention to what people say.” He firmly believes that you shouldn’t get caught up in all your hype, and he doesn’t think of himself in any different way, other than as just himself. In fact, he says, he doesn’t think of himself much at all – he thinks mainly of his music!
Marcin tells me that he’s lucky to go to one of the best schools in Poland and that they support him in every way, especially when it comes to all his travelling and spending time away from the classroom. He admits he’s a bit nervous about his final school exams that are coming up in May – the equivalent of our South African matric. “And then?” I want to know.
Marcin’s already been accepted to the Berkley College of Music in the USA. He’s deferred his entry to 2020 as he wants to concentrate of composing and arranging for the release of a new album and says that he wants to make the most of all the opportunities that are available to him now. He feels that he’s been spending 6-7 hours in school every day, and come May, he’s super-excited to be able to get so much more free time to play his music.
He wants to experiment with playing electronic music live with a guitar which has never been done before, and he is focused on “BREAKING THE MAINSTREAM” – maybe he’ll even play with an orchestra! He likes the sound of that idea. But he firmly believes that he, and all of us need to remain focussed on our goals and doing what we can to achieve them.
Marcin is thrilled to be in South Africa and has thoroughly enjoyed the response he’s received to his Joburg shows. He can’t wait to entertain Pretoria and Cape Town audiences and is especially excited about performing in an open-air amphitheatre! Make sure you’ve got your tickets!
GUITAR WIZARDS is a concept created by Corneille Hutten of the award-winning international, but proudly South African, Guitar Duo CH2 (the other half of the duo being Dirkie van Staden). They fuse various guitar styles from Flamenco to Finger-style Guitar playing – with great precision on acoustic guitars. This series of concerts promises to be an eclectic lab of creativity; saluting the sounds of Acoustic Guitar virtuosity.
CH2 has been top of the musical ladder for the past eighteen years in South Africa. Winning multiple SAMA and Ghoema Awards, they have produced 11 albums, including the best-selling and Grammy entry “PING” and their most recent offering “Insomnia – The Chapel Master.”
With their flawless, effortless technique and pulsating rhythms, they showcase what can be done on only two classical guitars, and create an exciting instrumental pop sound whilst mimicking drum sounds and bass guitar all at the same time. CH2 has truly developed their own style unique to the band and continues to blow people away with their virtuosity. The members of CH2 keep challenging themselves with new techniques every day and see themselves as pioneers of the classical guitar, pushing the instrument into genres it is not known for.
And now for the really important info … where can you see Marcin and CH2:
Date: Friday 8 March 2019
Time: 8pm AND NOW, DUE TO PUBLIC DEMAND AN EXTRA SHOW AT 5.30pm
Venue: Atterbury Teater
Date: Saturday 9 March 2019
Venue: Paul Cluver Amphitheatre, Elgin
Real Concerts, in association with M-Net and Hot 91.9FM are proud to announce that due to popular demand and extra Mango Groove 30th Anniversary Concert has been added at the Teatro, Montecasino on Saturday, 9 March, 2019.
In the words of Mango Groove’s lead vocalist, Claire Johnston:
“2019 is a big year for us as we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of our very first album, Mango Groove. With this in mind, it seemed right to us that we put on a high production concert that showcases the highlights, memories and moments of that album, as well as performing all the other Mango songs that people have come to know and love through years.”
The Mango Groove album went on to become one of SA’s biggest-selling albums of all time (well over 25-times platinum), and produced a string of hits that to this day remain part of the soundtrack of South Africa’s journey over the last three decades: ‘Special Star’, ‘Dance Some More’, ‘Hellfire’, ‘Move Up’, and many more.
That first album release created the platform for what was to become a meteoric rise to fame for Mango Groove, and it paved the way for a host of achievements that set new precedents and records that still stand today:
- The successive releases of several more albums and hit singles, including ‘Hometalk’, ‘Moments Away’, ‘Another Country’, ‘Nice to See You’, ‘Bang the Drum’ and their latest album release ‘Faces to the Sun’.
- Setting new live performance benchmarks for all SA artists, being the only SA group ever to sell out the Sun City Superbowl and the Standard Bank Arena six times each.
- The band was the first to redefine live staging and production standards for SA acts; the first to command a million rand sponsorship deal, and were the first and only group to remain at the top of the SA national sales charts for over a year.
- Internationally, Mango Groove’s unique and magical blend of South African marabi, kwela and pop influences, together with the voice and presence of Claire Johnston went on to captivate audiences around the world:
Highlights of their career include:
- The direct satellite link- up to the Freddie Mercury tribute in London (to an estimated audience of a billion people); their performance in front of 200 000 people at the Paris “SOS Racism” concert; and their performance at the renowned Montreux Jazz festival where the band received 3 encores.
- From London to Hong Kong, Toronto to Sydney, the band has played to sell- out crowds around the world.
- Mango Groove was given the honour of being the only South African (indeed African) act to be invited to perform at the ‘Celebrate Hong Kong ‘97’ Reunification Concert. This historic event, part of the official celebrations commemorating the handover of Hong Kong to China, was televised world-wide and immortalised on a commemorative CD. It was followed up, in fact, by Mango Groove being the only SA act to perform at the globally-televised concert commemorating the handover of Macau to China.
- Mango Groove was also especially proud to have been associated with the ABC world- wide broadcast of Nelson Mandela’s release where their music was used as the main theme. A few years later they headlined at his inauguration.
- Mango Groove has long been aware of music’s unique power to change people’s hearts and minds, and through the years the band has raised hundreds of thousands of Rands for issues such as literacy, terminally ill children and conservation.
In founder member John Leyden’s words:
“In terms of finding the ideal partner for what is truly a very special event for us, working with Real Concerts again made perfect sense…Serendipity at its best! It was this very partnership that properly launched Mango Groove on a grand scale to SA markets in 1989, and it was a partnership that then powered its way through the host of precedent-setting achievements in the years that followed.”
What can we expect from the show itself, then? In the words of Roddy Quin of Real Concerts:
“Yes, the show will be a veritable memory-fest, and it will truly be a joyful celebration of all the Mango songs we have come to love through the years: All of this backed up, of course, with the best possible live production, dancing and performance standards. As importantly, though, it will be a celebration of South African-ness in all its glorious diversity: who we were, our transition, the great ongoing South African journey, who we are today, and what is still so possible for us as a country. This show really will move you in so many different ways.”
Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, says, “Montecasino and the Teatro are thrilled to be hosting such a momentous concert, marking Mango Groove’s 30 amazing years of enchanting South Africans and indeed the world with their very special sound. Montecasino is all about delivering memorable experiences to every visitor – and this event will fit that bill perfectly. We look forward to welcoming the band and the heart-warming and joyful celebration of one of country’s favourite sounds.”
Mango Groove’s 30th Anniversary Concert, The Teatro, Montecasino, Johannesburg:
Friday 8th March – 8pm
Saturday 9th March – 8pm
Tickets Available from Computicket – Bookings now open!