The Barnyard Theatres have had a huge influence on the way we “do theatre” in South Africa today. Somewhat more than traditional cabaret, the concept of people sitting at large tables, able to either order their meals from the theatre or bring their own picnic baskets, take-aways or sandwiches while ordering drinks from the bar, has seen many other theatres allowing drinks and snacks (although not yet meals) inside more traditional theatres. It is a relaxed, informal kind of entertainment.
The latest show to open at the Rivonia Barnyard Theatre is Strictly No. 1s, sixty years of hits that made it to the number 1 position on the pop charts.
The publicity points out that “In 1953 Elvis Presley walked into Sun Studios to pay for a few minutes of studio time and in 1956 Bill Haley topped the charts with rock ‘n roll number one hit song – Rock Around the Clock.
In 1962 Louis Armstrong became the oldest recording artist to hit number one with Hello Dolly and in 1999 Cher became the oldest female artists to reach number one with the hit song – Believe.
Kung Fu Fighting became the first disco number one in 1974 and Don’t Worry be happy became the first acapella number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988. The first number one in the 21st Century was Smooth by Santana. We also have the foreign language number one selection with songs like Rock me Amadeus, The Macarena and La Bamba.
Strictly Number 1’s is a roller coaster ride through 60 years of No 1 hit songs that made us dance, sing, cry and party till sunrise.
Featuring an 9-piece cast who will take you back to the hit parade number one songs on local radio stations like Springbok Radio and LM Radio. Songs that made it to number one in South Africa, The UK, Australia and USA are featured such as Heaven is a Place on Earth, Eye of the Tiger and Another Brick in the Wall.
The show salutes everyone from the blonde icons Madonna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to iconic rock stars like Bruce Springsteen and latest pop sensations The Black Eyed Peas, Daft Punk, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry. Let’s not forget the legends and record holders such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Bryan Adams.”
I took my cousin’s daughter and son-in-law to see the show for their wedding anniversary. Other celebrations in the house included a birthday and someone graduating with a PhD (that was two tables of excitement just behind us). There were people of all ages, enjoying the music across the ages, across musical tastes and fashions. We all had a marvellous time.
The cast list is as follows: Vocals – Lee Paver, Tanya Duley, Marvin Nethononda, Caelee Vercuel, Jerryn Fosteras, Guitar – Ralph Martin, Keyboards – Petro van Heerden, Bass – Fresh with Colin Heaney on drums.
The run is scheduled for Rivonia Barnyard until 1 June 2014.