Cape Town boys to star in “Priscilla”
Showtime Management, SA Producers of the soon to be staged international hit musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, have announced the three Cape Town boys who have joined the all South African cast alternating the role of Benji when the show opens at Artscape Theatre, running from Wednesday, March 26, to Sunday, April 23.
Ten year olds, Jack Fokkens and Jagger Vosloo and eight year old Alexander Wallace will take to the stage as Benji, the son of lead role Tick played by Daniel Buys (‘Jersey Boys’, ‘West Side Story’). Benji is the real reason Tick convinces his fellow friends Bernadette and Felicia to head off into the desert in a big pink bus for a four-week stint at a Hotel Casino Resort in Alice Springs, the same resort managed by his estranged wife Marion, played by Taryn-Lee Buys (‘Singin’ in the Rain’, ‘Jersey Boys’). The roles of the estranged couple are played by the real life husband and wife.
Tick hasn’t seen eight-year-old Benji for years and is nervous about exposing him to his colourful lifestyle, only to be surprised that Marion has raised him to be sweet and open-minded so he’s fully supportive of his father’s sexuality and career.
“The role of Benji presents itself as a wonderful opportunity for a young theatre actor to work with multi-talented all South African cast and creative team in one of the best known productions in the world.” says SA Producer, Hazel Feldman of Showtime Management. “This is going to be an exceptional learning curve, especially as the boys will be working with Australians Dean Bryant, Worldwide Associate Director of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Andrew Hallsworth, who co- choreographed the international production of ‘Priscilla’, for Broadway with Ross Coleman.”
The three “Benji’s” share a love of dancing, singing and acting. The youngest of four children, Jack Fokkens has been performing in ballet productions since he was four years old, most recently in Cape Town City Ballet’s ‘Peter Pan’. He is an accomplished pianist and French Horn player, and when not practicing, he loves learning new tricks at The College of Magic. Jack is starring in his first international movie ‘The Kissing Booth’, to be released on Netflix later this year.
Fellow “Benji”, Alexander Wallace has been entertaining friends and family since he could walk and talk. Also an early starter, Alexander has attended the Waterfront Theatre School in Cape Town for the past four years where he is studying dance and drama. He has featured in various international commercials and has starred in several movies, most recently acting as the young Eric Bana in ‘The Forgiven’. This is Alexander’s first professional theatre production.
Jagger Vosloo recently starred in ‘The Magic Carpet’, a school rendition of Aladdin. He enjoys playing guitar, and attending Hip Hop classes. Jagger comes from a family with strong theatrical ties so it seems he is destined to be in the theatre. In his spare time he enjoys playing Xbox, ramping on his scooter and building Lego. To learn more about performing both Jagger Vosloo and Alexander Wallace attended classes at the Musical Theatre Workshops.
Presented by Showtime Management in association with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Nullarbor Productions and brought to South Africa by BBC First, ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ is a “heart-warming and uplifting tale” of three drag artist friends who hop aboard a battered old bus aka “Priscilla” and go off on the adventure of a lifetime through the Australian Outback, to perform in Alice Springs. On the way they find “friendship, love and far more than they ever dreamed of.”
The production has been seen by over over million people and grossed in excess of $300 million worldwide to become the most successful Australian musical of all time.
The musical is based on the Oscar-winning film, features a hit parade of dance-floor favourites including ‘I Will Survive’, ‘Hot Stuff’, ‘Finally’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’, ‘Go West’, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, and ‘I Love The Nightlife’, plus more than 500 outrageous costumes, 200 headdresses and a 10 metre long customised bus weighing 6 tonnes as its sparkling centrepiece.
* Book now at Computicket. This musical contains some strong language and adult themes, therefore parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12.