YOU BET YOUR LIFE! Secures Full Production for July 2014
With a successful week-long workshop behind it, ROLSKA productions is moving forward with the debut production of the new musical YOU BET YOUR LIFE! at the National Arts Festival later this year. ROLSKA Productions has developed a solid track record over the past few years, including shows like I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, the popular musical comedy by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts, and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's ubiquitous song cycle EDGES amongst their hit productions. ROLSKA Productions won a Standard Bank Ovation Award for their National Arts Festival run of I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE. The company is proud to be presenting a new musical created by South African writers on local stages this year.
The book, music and lyrics of YOU BET YOUR LIFE! are by Roland Perold and David Fick. YOU BET YOUR LIFE! tells the story of Jonny, a recently deceased young man who finds himself trapped in a game show where scenes from his life are replayed with purgatorial relish. Show host Timothy Radcliffe introduces us to Jonny's mother, his ex-girlfriends, a ferocious 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.
The workshop featured Nathan Kruger as Jonny and Terence Makapan as Timothy Radcliffe, as well as Megan Spencer in a range of diverse roles. Of his participation in the workshop, Kruger said: "Being a part of a workshop process has always been a goal for me, ever since I watched SMASH. And now having been a part of one, I must say it's been a wonderful experience! We were asked to help get the vision of two talented writers another step closer to stage, and hopefully we've done just that! YOU BET YOUR LIFE! is a thought-provoking musical that's bound to make audiences laugh, cry and contemplate many things. I feel honoured to have been a part of its growth."
Spencer said that she enjoyed working with Perold and Fick on the musical: "Their guidance and direction during the workshop process, was extremely clear as they both knew exactly what they wanted. I always felt excited and motivated, as every rehearsal was filled with an efficient and focused energy. I am so grateful and honoured to have been a part of the beginning stages of an incredibly well written and entertaining musical."
Like his cast mates, Makapan also had a great time working on YOU BET YOUR LIFE!: "I was very fortunate to be a part of this amazing project! The material was genius and I learned so much in one week."
An accomplished actor, musical director and producer, Perold holds a BMus Degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a Performer's Licentiate in Musical Theatre from Trinity College and a MMus Degree from Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom. Perold's previous works for the musical theatre stage include TWEET: THE MUSICAL and THE LAST NOTE. Looking back at the YOU BET YOUR LIFE! workshop, he said: "Coming out of the workshop with Megan, Nathan and Terence really affirmed many of the choices we made. What was especially helpful was their willingness to adapt and without any hesitation try new thing, always open to suggestions and even some mid-week edits that we threw their way. Of course there's lots of rewriting and fixing up that needs to be done now but for a show in development I think we're in an excellent place and will have a very tight book when we start rehearsing for Grahamstown in May."
Fick has also written two musicals, OVER THE RAINBOW (with Jacqui Meskin) and HOUSE OF SHADOWS. He read for a Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town, having previously completed an Honours degree in Drama at the same university. Of the week spent working with YOU BET YOUR LIFE! on the floor, he reflects: "What a fantastic experience! While I've certainly used workshop methods when creating theatre before, I've never experienced anything like this. You really have to be on your feet, because when the show is up there, the bits that don't work read as strongly as the bits that do. But now we have a very solid and specific set of notes to work through and I can't wait to see how YOU BET YOUR LIFE looks like when we start rehearsals for the full production!"