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NORTHCLIFF’S JOSEPH (article first published : 2000-06-28)

After their major success in Durban last year with Chicago, Northcliff High School from Gauteng returns with another prospective smash hit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which will have a short run in the Playhouse Drama from July 18 to 22.

This forward-thinking school is as much committed to the activities of its drama events as those of sport. Director of Joseph Nick Jourdan promises that this year’s show will be “an even more spectacular event – a theatrical happening not to be missed. The talented cast is led by James McEwan who last year wowed audiences as “Mr Cellophane”. He is joined by a brilliant ensemble of brothers and adoring girls and Lyall Ramsden who makes an outrageous Pharaoh!” Durban audiences may also remember Ruth Millson who played one of the six merry murderesses in Chicago and Olivia Vermaak, both of whom play narrators.”

“Last year we had a great time in Durban,” says director Nick Jourdan. “The people who attended Chicago last year were rhapsodic and remained to the last note of the exit music before leaving the theatre. Providing this fantastic opportunity to appear in the Playhouse Drama, which must be one of the finest theatres in the country, to a group of young performers has proved to be a truly wonderful and memorable learning experience.

“The Playhouse management and staff were helpful and accommodating at all times. This facility should be utilised to its fullest capacity and perhaps, at times like these when theatre is going through a bit of a lull, we should be seeing a lot more of our youth appearing at these fine venues."

Undertaking a tour of this nature from a school is a major task. The logistics are daunting. The company of 65, made up of cast, crew, musicians and staff, must be transported, fed and accommodated. Sets , props and costumes also have to be transported and then there is the scheduling required for rehearsals, setting up and striking the set in the theatre, not to mention the marketing and getting the audiences in. “This has been a hugely stimulating challenge,” admits Nick, “and perhaps some of the local schools should try taking their productions around the country. These young people, after all, are the future of theatre.”

Performances nightly at 19h30, with matinees at 14h30 on July 19 and 22. Book at Ticketweb




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