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ROCK ME AMADEUS (article first published : 2006-12-3)

The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway turns five-years-old at the end of 2006, and instead of bringing Ludwig Von Beethoven back to life for a repeat performance of their inaugural show Roll Over Beethoven, the popular venue will staging a sequel of sorts in Rock Me Amadeus from January 30 to March 11.

This time it is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, instead of his predecessor, who comes to life as a sexy and romantic dead composer who has finally been given the chance to rock and roll. The eccentric composer will be played by the equally eccentric Roelof Colyn, well-known for his piano-playing and vocal talent in A Handful of Keys. The show will be scripted and directed by Roelof’s fellow performer, the inimitable Ian von Memerty.

Rock Me Amadeus will see the Barnyard Theatre at Gateway re-open after a three week dark period during which the venue will have undergone a R500,000 upgrade. Although the theatre has seen continual upgrades to facilities and equipment in its five years of existence, the venue’s owners Debbie Davidson and Louis Möller have decided to take the Gateway Barnyard to a new level.

The most notable of the changes is that from early 2007 the venue will be providing food in the form of gourmet pizzas, platters and picnic baskets. The Barnyard will retain its “bring your own” food policy, but will now provide the convenience of food available in the venue. Patrons are still encouraged to arrive early, place their orders which will be freshly prepared, and enjoy their meals at their seats in the theatre before curtain-up.

The food outlet will be known as The Barnyard Café, and will take on two forms inside the venue. Firstly, there will be a window alongside the bar which will allow patrons to place their orders for the show. The theatre will also establish an intimate coffee shop in the foyer area, which will operate from the time the theatre opens in the morning until after the show. This will be open to theatre patrons as well as anyone in the mall itself.

In order to accommodate a suitable kitchen, the Barnyard will restructure the seating on the raised area at the back of the venue on the ground level. The tables will be removed and there will be two levels of counter seating which will provide excellent views of the stage. This will reduce the capacity of the venue from 480 to 420. In order to comply with health regulations that come with having a kitchen, the theatre’s woodchips will be replaced with an aged wooden floor that will still be in keeping with the venue’s old world charm.

Book early for Rock Me Amadeus as the booking office will be closed from January 8 to 21 to re-open for bookings on January 22. Tickets R100 (buy one get one free on Tuesday night and Sunday matinees). Bookings and enquiries to The Barnyard Theatre on 031 566 3045 or e-mail gateway@barnyardtheatre.co.za




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