All the world's a stage

All the world’s a stage

An exciting collaboration between Tsogo Sun and The Barnyard Theatre has seen two new venues open to Joburg audiences. By Pia Briscoe

Up on stage, the vibe is electric. An ensemble of men and women in black leather pants and ripped T-shirts whip their heads to the rock ’n’ roll beat. Red and white lights flash as the lead guitarist belts out an epic riff. I look around and the entire audience is on their feet, dancing and clapping, wide smiles on every face as they join in the singing.

There’s something uplifting and vibrant about live music: it shakes you up, breaks down barriers and makes you feel a part of something. Celebrating its 21st birthday
this year, The Barnyard Theatre Production Company has had plenty of time to perfect this art of inclusion, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds for a night of pure fun. 

The original Barnyard Theatre, on a dairy farm outside of Plettenberg Bay, opened its red velvet curtains to audiences in 1996. It was the bright idea of Louis Möller and
Sybel Coetzee, both of whom had established careers in entertainment – Möller as 

co-founder and producer of TV show Carte Blanche and Coetzee as an actress and TV presenter. By 2003, Möller had joined forces with well-known South African musician Duck Chowles. Together, they established The Barnyard Theatre Production Company. Now, two decades later, Chowles still masterminds the production and direction of all of The Barnyard Theatre’s stage creations.

Möller says, ‘The Barnyard Theatre’s in-house productions are world class and have toured abroad to Europe, the Middle East and various African countries. Recently, Barnyard Theatre artists performed to sell-out audiences at the Madinat Theatre in the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, Dubai.’

It seems fitting that The Barnyard is celebrating the milestone of its 21st birthday while also beginning its journey with Tsogo Sun. Earlier this year, new Barnyard Theatres opened at two Tsogo Sun properties (Silverstar and Gold Reef City), bringing the total number of Barnyard Theatres in Joburg to five. The two organisations have excellent synergy, representing the highest levels of excellence in entertainment and service.

Speaking of The Barnyard Theatre, Tsogo Sun CEO Jacques Booysen says: ‘We are delighted to be able to offer the wonderful, feel-good entertainment provided by their shows to our guests in the west and south of Joburg.’

Silverstar’s Barnyard Theatre opened on 16 May in a shower of bright lights and even brighter costumes, with the hit show One Vision paying tribute to Abba and Queen. Not long after, on 21 June, Gold Reef City’s new theatre opened its doors with a stellar production of 50 Carat Gold, showcasing the past 60 years of chart-topping music, with timeless hits from various popular genres.

Great care has been taken in creating an inviting and intimate look and feel (as in the other Barnyard Theatres) for the generously sized 375- and 400-person capacity Silverstar and Gold Reef City venues. Patrons will also be pleased to discover the new theatres offer dinner-and-show options, with the fully equipped in-house catering services offering delicious pizzas, platters, snack baskets and buffet meals. Now there is no need to worry about rushing from a restaurant in time to make the show.

During August and September, head to The Barnyard Theatre Silverstar for a memorable night out with Divas Who Rock. Lucky audiences can expect five of The Barnyard Theatre’s best female singers paying tribute to 60 years of the music world’s greatest women – from present-day stars through the pop queens of the ’80s and ’90s, all the way back to the disco divas of the ’70s and soul sisters of the ’60s.

The first half of the show sees the 10-member cast covering ’60s greats such as Carole King, Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin; then the ’70s and ’80s are saluted with high-power tributes to Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner. Then the second half picks up the pace even further with flashbacks to ’90s icons Alanis Morissette, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez, before moving on to Lady Gaga, Pink, and Jessie J. Divas Who Rock is about power, versatility and the music that has inspired generations of fans.

On at Gold Reef City during August and September is Nineties vs Noughties – when two decades collide! A musical showdown deciding which decade produced the best music, it takes a fun look at the 1990s and 2000s. Two hilarious hosts (each convinced that their decade reigns supreme) take the audience on a musical roller-coaster ride. With hits by Mariah Carey, Spice Girls, Shania Twain and Nirvana competing against the likes of Coldplay, Katy Perry and The Black Eyed Peas, it’s a tough competition.

Whatever genre tickles your musical taste buds, The Barnyard Theatre Production Company has a show to match, promising an unforgettable experience with your partner, friends or family.

Book your tickets
Divas Who Rock
Venue Silverstar Barnyard Theatre
Date 23 August – 8 October
Cost R130-–R165
Tickets Visit http://tsogosun.com

Nineties vs Noughties
Venue Gold Reef City Barnyard Theatre
Date 23 August – 8 October
Cost R130–R180
Tickets Visit http://tsogosun.com

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