Ensemble Set for ROLSKA's YOU BET YOUR LIFE!
With rehearsals for the premiere of YOU BET YOUR LIFE! set to start soon, ROLKSA Productions has announced that a fresh young ensemble has been put together to stage and perform the musical at the National Arts Festival later this year. With the clock ticking until the world premiere, pre-production for this witty and rib-tickling new show has commenced with all players excited to be on board.
The setting for YOU BET YOUR LIFE! may seem like a typical TV game show at first - but it's one with a bite! Hosted by the devilishly charming Timothy Radcliffe, the show welcomes a special guest whose heart and soul are on the line, due to the little fact that they have just cashed in their chips! So when the recently deceased Jonny arrives on set, scenes from his life are replayed with purgatorial relish. The audience is introduced to his neurotic mother, his crazy ex-girlfriends, a ferocious Russian drag performer and a host of other characters who all seem bent on keeping Jonny in limbo as Timothy tries to manipulate things to secure his own redemption. Will Jonny be able to convince the audience that he was a good guy? Or will be stuck in afterlife TV reruns forever and ever? Only a trip to YOU BET YOUR LIFE! can answer these questions!
The book, music and lyrics of YOU BET YOUR LIFE! are by Roland Perold and David Fick. Both have experience in writing for musical theatre, having each created two original musicals before their collaboration on this show. Both are passionate about driving the agenda of new musical theatre writing in South Africa and look forward to seeing the show take full flight after a successful workshop earlier this year, during which the musical was staged and performed before rewrites commenced prior to the rehearsal period for the National Arts Festival run of the show.
The cast includes Perold himself (who takes on the glitzy role of Timothy Radcliffe) Amy Trout (who plays all of the female roles in the musical, showcasing her versatility and honey-gold vocals) and Steven van Wyk (playing leading man, Jonny, who finds himself stranded on the set of this rather unconventional game show).
Perold has crafted a solid niche for himself in popular musical theatre with productions like Jimmy Roberts and Joe DiPietro's I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's EDGES. He has a passion for introducing musicals that are lesser known or brand new to South African audiences, but which are every bit as entertaining and moving as the big names.
Trout's star rose overnight when she was cast as Lucy Dixon in the much acclaimed revival of David Kramer and Taliep Pietersen's KAT AND THE KINGS. Her performance in the show (at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town and at Montecasino in Johannesburg) earned her award nominations on both side on the country: a Fleur du Cap nomination for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical and a Naledi nomination for Best Newcomer.
Van Wyk is a classic all-round performer with boy-next-door appeal. As well as appearing in musical theatre productions like WEST SIDE STORY and DIRTY DANCING, he has danced in Bovim Ballet's QUEEN AT THE BALLET. One of van Wyk's recent achievements was a Special Silver Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in 2013, which he was awarded for the creation of "Skoonveld" in collaboration with Thalia Laric in the production PLASTIC.
The show will be directed by Fick, with choregraphy by van Wyk and musical direction by Perold. YOU BET YOUR LIFE! is produced by Ovation Award-winning company ROLKSA Productions, a company that has produced hit shows like I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, EDGES, MUSICAL THEATRE MEMORY LANE, COWARD & COLE and THE LAST NOTE. Catch the show at Vicky's at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown from 3 - 13 July 2014.