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Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Smash hit back by public demand.

Back by public demand, the smash hit show The Guitar That Rocked the World directed by Themi Venturas, returns to home base at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for a much anticipated 10th anniversary season. Presented in association with the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, most of the original team who staged this hugely popular show have teamed up again to restage this innovative production which scooped a Vita Award for Best Musical when it played to sold-out houses in two successive Durban seasons, with a tour to Cape Town in between, during which it picked up two Fleur du Cap Award nominations.

Originally created by Themi Venturas, The Guitar That Rocked the World was the culmination of a dream Venturas shared with guitarist Barry Thomson to dedicate a show to the legendary Fender Stratocaster guitar. The show celebrates the history of this fabled instrument that changed the face of rock music when it was championed by legends like Buddy Holly, Jimmie Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, and many others.

With musical direction Dawn Selby, the new production stars Barry Thomson on lead guitar, with Andy Turrell and Rowan Stuart on Fender Strats, Glen Turrell on Bass, Mali Sewell on Drums, Dawn Selby on Keyboards, with Daniel Basckin as the teenage protégé, Stevie.

Frank Graham reprises his performance as the ghost of Leo Fender, with Jonathon Didlick and Bryan Hiles filling the show’s lead vocals spots, playing opposite a high-powered line-up of dancers comprising Janine Bennewith (also the show’s choreographer), Celeste Nel, Danny Ribbnik and Jacqueline Bowles. The spectacular show has the full technical support of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre staff, with Sound Design by Jackie Cunniffe, Lighting Design by Mark Kleinert and Stage Management by Susan Roberts.

This is a show about dreams, specifically the dream of a teenage boy, Stevie, who fantasizes that he meets Leo Fender, the inventor of the Fender Strat. Such was the production’s runaway success that it effectively launched Barry Thomson’s career in Durban, along with those of Andy Turrell, Janine Bennewith and Rowan Stuart, who originally played the part of Stevie. Classic mega-hits to be heard in the show include, among others, That’ll Be the Day, Oh Boy, Apache, Something, While My Guitar, Nowhere Man, Hey Joe, All Along the W-Tower, Layla, Wonderful Tonight, Tears in Heaven, Bad Love, Smoke on the Water, Thing Called Love, Sultans of Swing, Weeping, Rude Mood, Lovestruck Baby, Lay Down Sally and After Midnight.

The Guitar That Rocked the World runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from August 10 to 29 with performances at 20h00. Booking is at Computicket.