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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


(Malcolm Gooding)

(Review from the artSMart team covering the 2014 Witness Hilton Arts Festival which ran at Hilton College from September 19 to 21)

An impressive display of Gooding’s remarkable skill at mimicry. (Review by Keith Millar)

Malcolm Gooding, the man with the golden voice, is arguably the foremost voice artist South Africa has ever produced. He is a veteran of over 40 years in the industry. During that time his mellifluous tones have been heard extensively on radio and televisions and on countless advertisements, documentaries and even infomercials.

Gooding was at the Witness Hilton Arts Festival last weekend to present his highly entertaining one-man show, Going Gooding. From the moment he steps on stage, the golden voice is instantly recognisable, as mellow and agreeable as it always has been.

In Going Gooding, Gooding reflects on this remarkable career as a broadcaster and voice artist. It is a witty, self-deprecating and insightful story, and is not without a good dollop of nostalgia.

Told from the standpoint that he has been requested by a Mr Dladla from the SABC to produce a 55-minute radio documentary on his career Gooding introduces his audience to the many wonderful characters, events, programmes and even radio advertisements which have played a part in his life.

Showing his versatility, he does hilarious impersonations of the likes of Charles Fortune, Patt Kerr and Colin du Plessis amongst many others. Fortune’s cricket commentary and Kerr reading an Afrikaans message on Forces Favourites are but two highlights of the show. In all, two dozen different voices are heard during the production – all provided by Gooding himself. An impressive display of his remarkable skill at mimicry.

Gooding also talks about his first audition to be a radio announcer and his joining of the SABC’s English Service in 1967. Within a year, he was presenting the station’s first contemporary music programme for young people, also entitled Going Gooding, The programme ran for six years.

He was the narrator on the iconic Springbok Radio show Squad Cars. His voice was heard on over 800 episodes. During the show he acts out a brief parody episode of the programme while the instantly recognisable theme music is provided in the background.

On the commercial front, he was the voice on all the Dunhill cigarette ads and, he claims – tongue in cheek, possibly every radio ad for soap ever produced.

Going Gooding is pack full of these reminiscences and is told with the charming and cheerful demeanour for which Gooding is well known. In an industry which has had more than its fair share of difficult characters and inflated egos, Gooding has always stood out as a true gentleman.

Going Gooding is co-written with Tim Sandham and Angus Douglas. Douglas is also the director of the show. This is Malcolm Gooding’s first venture into live theatre. Let’s hope that there is more to come. – Keith Millar