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Monday, August 7, 2017


(Michaelhouse students, Menziwokuhle Mbuyazi & Grant Hiscock who appear in “Chess”)

Pupils from Michaelhouse in Balgowan and St Anne’s Diocesan School in Hilton have teamed up to perform one of musical theatre’s most interesting and complex works, Chess.

Running from August 13 to 16 at the Schlesinger Theatre, the musical is based on an idea by Tim Rice, with music by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and lyrics by Tim Rice.

The production develops the ancient game of chess into a metaphor for romantic rivalries and East-West political intrigue. It is loosely based on the Bobby Fischer, the American Grandmaster with the crazy demands and terrible manners.

Central to the musical is the love triangle between American Freddie, serious Russian champion, Anatoly, and Hungarian-American, Florence.

From Italy to Thailand the players, lovers, politicians, CIA and KGB make their moves to the pulse of this monumental rock score. 

Chess was a significant and powerful piece of musical theatre for its time as it reflected the Cold War tensions present in the 1980s, the government manipulations and paranoia, and the xenophobic attitudes present in the political climate of the time.

Several numbers, including One Night in Bangkok and I Know Him So Well, were massive hits, and numbers including Pity the Child and Heaven Help My Heart became enduring musical theatre ballads.

Chess is presented by the same team who brought you the Michaelhouse and St Anne’s musicals Phantom of the Opera and My Fair Lady. Abri Venter conducts the music and William le Cordeur directs this challenging theatrical work.

Chess has performances on August 13 at 14h00 and August 14, 15 and 16 at 19h00. Tickets R120 (R80 pupils) booked online at

Complementary tea and eats will be served, and a cash bar will be available