It’s almost National Arts Festival (NAF) time again, and a lot of avid Cape Town theatre supporters will be visiting Makhanda as part of their winter holiday break to support our local creatives presenting shows at the festival. One such a creative troupe, FollowSpot Productions, has produced top selling NAF shows for the last three years. This year, their shows seem geared to bring yet more audience favourites to the festival scene with both a touch of nostalgia and the latest take on their unique razzle-dazzle style.
When brothers Ash and Bradley Searle, directed by Vanessa Harris, started their FollowSpot adventure with Big Boys Don’t Dance, it became the fastest selling show at the NAF in 2011. The show introduced the brothers and their fantastic dance moves to audiences in a bachelor party setting with them plunged into one entertaining disaster after another. The focus of the story: the hilarious journey of two brothers following their dance dreams in a fun theatre format that doesn't take itself too seriously. FollowSpot fans will be happy to know that Big Boys Don't Dance (The Original Hit Revival) is heading (back) to the NAF, with a few updates —all we’re saying is great Big Boys-saga memories and Alan Committie. We're sure the boys will entertain NAF audiences with the same flair that delighted Cape Town audiences during their recent sold out revival run at Kalk Bay Theatre.
Paired perfectly with all things Big Boys is FollowSpot’s latest live singing show, You Should Be Dancing. As the name indicates, the show promises to tease audience with all the best dance-inspired music with moves to match. Embracing a similar style as their previous sensational shows, Alchemy of Rock and Elton and Friends, this production aims to have audiences dancing in (and even out) of their seats. The fabulous You Should Be Dancing cast don stylish vintage attire in a true music-cabaret tease that exhibits the quintessential playful energy associated with this production company.
The latest jewel in the FollowSpot theatre crown is Bijou and it too is part of their enticing NAF package. With its faux French style, Bijou is a bit darker than its festival predecessors Bon Soir, Au Revoir and Caliente, yet as impressive. It imaginatively delivers on its entertainment promise with Vaudeville flair, with dance, song, and comedy numbers conceptualised and choreographed by Harris and Ash Searle. The show elements are presented in a manner that reminds of a petite glam version of Cirque du Soleil meets Tap Dogs. As a selection of routines (all calling for great skill and restraint that showcases the talent of their troupe) Bijou presents audiences with a compilation of visually teasing acts —a feast for the eyes!
NAF audiences are also in for an additional treat that Cape Town theatre lovers have yet to experience —Becoming Liam. Liam McDermott, the surfer with the voice of an angel, has become a favourite of Kalk Bay Theatre patrons with theatre mentors Harris and Ash Searle including him in a range of previous productions (Caliente, Au Revoir, Elton and Friends and Alchemy of Rock). Having seen his talent and stage presence grow with every show, Harris and Searle now direct McDermott in his own solo show. From a young man sitting on a beach, not knowing how to turn his music-passion into a career, McDermott's FollowSpot experiences have definitely empowered him and changed his perspective. ‘You’ve got to make it happen’, he shyly affirms when asked about this journey. In Becoming Liam, McDermott will give audiences a glimpse into his journey: A turbulent past told in a tongue-in-cheek punctuated manner along with multiple hit cover songs for all to enjoy. It promises to be a true inspiration for the youngsters!
Catch any or even all of these fantastic FollowSpot shows at the NAF between 27 June and 7 July 2019. Book your tickets online at www.nationalartsfestival.co.za.