THE SPIRIT of Elvis inhabits Theatre on the Bay in the person of Jonathan Roxmouth as Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
In the matinee I attended, Roxmouth received a standing ovation – during the show. He struts around in Egyptian sequin bling – accessorised with gold sneakers which light up (great costume design by Niall Griffin).
A revelation for me was watching Louise Duhain filling in as the narrator. I was expecting to see Bianca le Grange. When it was announced Duhain was playing the role I was suprised, but bowled over by her performance, her multi-layered voice and charismatic presence.
This was her first role in Cape Town.
Duhain, 24, was born in Belgium and moved to South Africa with her family as a child. She graduated from Tshwane University of Technology in 2016 and made her professional debut last year in The Man and the Mouse at the Johannesburg Theatre. She was thrilled to land a role in Joseph. “It was unimaginable. I was jumping up and down.”
For Joseph she is the understudy narrator and swing.
A swing is a member of the company who understudies several chorus and/or dancing roles. “I cover all the girls’ tracks except for Mrs Potiphar and the Appache/ Tango girl,” she said.
“I have my set performances as narrator on Saturdays at 2 pm – assuming no one else is ill or injured. In that case I will cover the missing girl’s track. And if Bianca is booked off I will then cover for her regardless of the day.”
It is hard to go wrong with Joseph, but seeing this production, I felt a tingle; a buzz at seeing something special.
It took me back to the wonder of watching the first production in SA, in the 1970s – with Alvon Collison, Richard Loring and Bruce Millar. The entire company is excel- lent: Earl Gregory is terrific as Joseph. I did not see her but I am told that Bianca le Grange is an impressive narrator.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is at Theatre on the Bay until November 5. Tickets are R95-R350 at Computicket.
Jonathan Roxmouth as Pharaoh and understudy narrator Louise Duhain in