What better way to crown your 21st year in show business than to take on one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most demanding roles?
That’s how performer Nádine is starting her milestone year. She’s currently playing the role of the narrator in Lloyd Webber and Time Rice’s smash-hit musical Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
The production returns to Theatre on the Bay due to popular demand this week after entertaining audiences at the Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino and the PE Opera House. This will be the first time Cape Town audiences get a chance to see Nádine as the story teller, after she took over the role from Bianca le Grange.
Jumping in in the middle of the show’s run meant that Nádine had to quickly find a way to make the character her own. “After only joining with 222 performances under this team’s belt, I knew that I would have to trust the director to guide me on this beautiful platform.”
Nádine says she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the musical after her last experience with the Pieter Toerien Production Company six years ago which she describes as “enriching”.
Lloyd Webber and Rice’s two-act musical is a vibrant, colourful retelling of the biblical story of Joseph. With very little dialogue, the show leans heavily on its lyrics to tell the story.
That’s where the narrator comes in: it’s her job to tell the story of Joseph, his family and his journey. “It’s quite a challenge as the role is mostly sung through,” Nádine says, adding “it is a huge responsibility to make sure that I capture the audience’s attention and tell the story truthfully and sincerely throughout the show”.
While the role is new for Nádine, it’s far from unfamiliar. In 2011 she was nominated for a Naledi Theatre Award and the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for her debut theatre role as Mary Magdalene in Pieter Toerien’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s other biblical musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.
She counts the experience as one of the highlights of her career, alongside the opportunity to perform with Julio Iglesias and Susan Boyle and her 22-show tour of China in 2012. “Every gold and platinum award reminds me of the hard work my team and I have invested,” Nádine says adding those recordings in Stockholm, Sweden and Metropolis Studios in London were also career defining moments.
The accomplished singer has been a part of the local music industry since she was a teacher and explains that theatre work gives her the opportunity to become part of a family and focus solely on productions as opposed to presenting herself as an individual.
Writing and recording gives Nádine a creative outlet to process “everything that happens in your life,” while she finds theatre much safer emotionally. “Music will always be my first love, and being able to enjoy performing on both platforms makes me feel very content as a singer. It ultimately revolves around music on both mediums.”
Nádine’s “Joseph family” includes some of South Africa’s equally accomplished theatre names like Jonathan Roxmouth and Anton Luitingh as the Pharaoh and Earl Gregory as Joseph.
The 23-member cast will be at Theatre on the Bay from tomorrow (Thursday 16 February) until Saturday 8 April.
Away from the stage, fans of Nádine can look forward to a new 21st anniversary album which she plans to release in the coming weeks. The album features 21 English and 21 Afrikaans hit songs from her 21-year career. The album artwork will also include special photos taken over the last two decades.
Nádine will top her anniversary year off with big concerts in Johannesburg and Cape Town. V To stay up to date with Nádine’s performances, visit her Facebook page. Tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Theatre on the Bay cost between R95 and R350 and are available at Computicket.
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