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DEAN ROBERTS FOR MUSICAL (article first published : 2006-02-19)

Durban actor Dean Roberts has been cast in the multi-million rand soon-to-be staged production of We Will Rock You. Recently seen over the festive season in Jack and His Big Stalk and the The Frog Prince, Dean is currently appearing in the Actors Cooperative production of King Lear.

Featuring an all-South African cast of 29 members and eight local musicians (including Durban guitarist Rowan Stuart), We Will Rock You is the award-winning West End musical by Queen and Ben Elton. It is set to open its South African season on May 9 at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre before touring to Cape Town and Durban. Highly talented singer, songwriter and performer Vicky Sampson is to head the cast as the Killer Queen with seasoned actor, singer and performer Malcolm Terry playing Pop.

“Although gruelling, the audition process went smoothly and we are very proud to feature a South African cast equal to the best in the world,” commented producer Hazel Feldman. “The visiting international creative team had some pretty tough choices to make.” 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 were most impressed with the high standard of South African talent.

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 it have a large cast, it is also a huge and highly technical and physical production boasting 14 x 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 have shown an intense personal interest in the entire concept of the show.

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 continues to play to sold-out houses at London's Dominion Theatre - where it has been running since May 2002. It 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 on We Will Rock You comprises highly talented musical director, arranger and pianist, Bryan Schimmel as Musical Director. Jill Somers as Assistant Choreographer and Company Manager; Alistair Kilbee as Technical Manager and Bryan Hill as Resident Director.

We Will Rock You will have a limited season at The Playhouse Company in Durban commencing September 30. Booking is at Computicket on 083 915 8000 or book on line at www.computicket.com

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. For show information, visit www.wewillrockyou.co.za




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