……BY BILLY SUTER……
THANKS to Covid-19, three years have whizzed by since Johannesburg’s Northcliff High School last toured its annual school music to Durban’s Playhouse. Now the curse has been broken – Footloose, the musical, will be presented by the pupils from Wednesday to Sunday, June 29 to July 3.
Even better news is that SoSuterBill has two sets of four tickets to give away to the opening performance at the Playhouse Drama theatre, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 29. (See the end of this post for competition entry details).
Under the wing of the school’s longtime director of musicals, Nick Jourdan, Northcliff High School has helped develop talent such as singer-songwriter Connell Cruise, who landed a US record deal; Carmen Pretorius and Samantha Peo, the two leads in the recent international touring production of Chicago; and Jonathan Roxmouth, who has starred as the lead in the touring international production of The Phantom of the Opera.
The school has toured its annual musical to Durban since 1999, when it presented Chicago. Its most recent hit was High School Musical, staged at the Playhouse in June 2019. Footloose marks the 38th musical production – all of them directed by Jourdan – and is the 22nd Northcliff High School show to tour to Durban.
Previous productions seen in Durban are Joseph, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, The Mikado, Me and My Girl, The Pirates of Penzance, Annie, Crazy For You, Hello Dolly!, Anything Goes, Godspell, Thoroughly Modern Millie, HMS Pinafore, All Shook Up, Grease, Legally Blonde, The Addams Family, Spamalot and Sister Act.
“Covid-19 has presented endless problems for Footoose,” says Jourdan. “Twice we were almost ready to go on, then shut down without warning. Twice we had a change of cast and had to start all over again. Fortunately, the two leads remained the same, which was a blessing – and they are outstanding.
“With the cast changes and sheer perseverance, it has been a long haul,” he says, adding that the musical has already been staged to great success at the school premises in Gauteng.
Footloose features 29 pupils and is based on the hit 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon which inspired a remake in 2011. It tells of Young Ren McCormack and his mom Ethel who, through circumstance, leave their unsettled life in Chicago for the one-horse town of Bomont. There they are taken in by relatives and have to start a new life.
The town has a ban on dancing and partying because of an unfortunate accident after a raucous dance party in which four youngsters lost their lives. Now it becomes Ren’s mission to convert the town’s elders to rethink this draconian law and persuade them that “dancing is not a crime” but a celebration of the joy in people’s hearts.
The musical features such hit songs as Holding Out for a Hero, Let’s Hear It for The Boy and Almost Paradise.
”The cast was given a fantastic reception in Johannesburg and are rearing to go for Durban. We hope we can get the audiences in Durban because they are really going to revel in this one.” says Jourdan.
Asked if he will be involved with future shows for the school, Jourdan replies: “There will be a few more with me at the helm. The arrangement with the school is that from here on, we will take it one year at a time and I will stop when I can no longer deliver the standard. Who knows when that will be…”
Tickets for Footloose cost R70 throughout on Wednesday, June 29, and between R100 and R120 for remaining performances. Shows are at 7.30pm Wednesday to Saturday with an additional Saturday performance at 2pm. The final performance is at 3pm on Sunday, July 3. Booking is at Webtickets.
WIN 4 SHOW TICKETS… WIN 4 SHOW TICKETS… WIN 4 SHOW TICKETS
Care to put yourself in line to be one of TWO winners of FOUR TICKETS each to attend the opening performance, at Durban’s Playhouse Drama theatre, of the Northlands High School musical, Footloose, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 29?
You simply have to be a follower of the SoSuterBill site to win. At no cost.
If you are not already a follower, simply leave your email address in the space provided towards the end of the cover page of this site, sosuterbill.com (access the cover page by clicking ‘Latest Posts’ on the menu bar).
You will then be a follower, and receive email notification whenever I file a new story.
Once you have subscribed (there is no cost), send your NAME and PHONE NUMBER via email (NOT THIS SITE’S CONTACT FORM) to firstname.lastname@example.org and place the words ‘FOOTLOOSE GIVEAWAY’ in the subject field.
Note that the competition closes at 6pm on Saturday, June 25, and the two winners will be contacted soon after. Winners names will be posted in this spot thereafter. (The winners of four tickets each are Philippa Savage and Sharlene Versveld).
Also note that tickets may not be exchanged for another performance and that the prize is for tickets only (not travel and/or accommodation should this prove necessary).
NOTE: PLEASE READ ENTRY DETAILS CAREFULLY AS SOME PEOPLE ARE ENTERING COMPETITIONS INCORRECTLY.
ALSO NOTE THAT ONLY ONE ENTRY PER SUBSCRIBER WILL BE CONSIDERED.