Barnyard production to bring ‘the music’ to Bloem


Maricelle Botha

A musical extravaganza compiled from music by three of the most influential pop and rock groups of all time is heading towards Bloemfontein.
Thank You for the Music – A Tribute to ABBA, The Bee Gees and Queen is a spectacular Barnyard Theatre Production which takes you on a trip through space and time in the ’70s and the ’80s when glitz, glam and some of the greatest pop tunes ever written emerged.
Having produced, among others, the mega-hit Roll Over Beethoven, Duck Chowles takes the seat as director and producer of this production.
The show starts with the early days of The Bee Gees in the late sixties, with harmonic soft rock hits such as "Words" and "Massachusetts" and then move on to an authentic impersonation of the Gibb Brothers’ falsetto as they go on to re-ignite the disco groove. The show then features songs from the days when ABBA lit up the music scene with their first hits "Ring Ring" and "Waterloo", after which they followed on with countless pop anthems. The show ends with a tribute to Queen, featuring one of the greatest voices in the history of rock – Freddie Mercury.
Although Barnyard Theatre Productions have travelled all over the world including Holland, Denmark, Belgium, France, Turkey, Thailand, Bahrain, Dubai, Zimbabwe and the Caribbean Islands. This is the first time they will bring a production of this magnitude to the City of Roses. Chowles, however, performed in Bloem in 1998 as part of a Beatles show in the Sand du Plessis theatre.
In an interview with Courant Chowles said the choice of music for Thank You for the Music – A Tribute to ABBA, The Bee Gees and Queen came quite easy. "The three groups complement each other and are the most popular choice of music in South Africa," he said.
With a cast of more than 10 people one need to make sure you have dedicated performers. "One of the challenges is finding the right performers who are available to travel and are available to perform – which is why we only employ professional performers. All Barnyard musicians are full time and they are all from Johannesburg and
Pretoria". Chowles promised that audiences will not be disappointed by JP Moggee’s performance as Freddie Mercury. "JP makes a brilliant Freddie Mercury! We have two fabulous ABBA Girls and the Bee Gees are fun and exciting."
He added that the discipline needed to part take in such a big production are tremdous. Harmony and brilliant musicianship are very important.
Chowles himself has been dubbed South Africa’s chameleon of rock ‘n roll and means a good impersonation is something that comes from the heart. "You have to feel it from the soul or else it won’t ring true. The look and the voice are very important".
Catch Thank You for the Music – A Tribute to ABBA, The Bee Gees and Queen on 30 and 31 May with two performances a day at 18:00 and 21:00 in the Sand du Plessis theatre. Tickets are R150 at Pacofs.