Cape Town Opera (CTO) is continuing its partnership with the Wales Millennium Centre by hosting the opening performances of the musical Tiger Bay, before it transfers to the UK in late 2017.
Tiger Bay is a family musical set in the docks of Cardiff at a time when coal was king. Filled with “rousing music and a cast of unforgettable characters,” Tiger Bay is a “universal story of courage, reconciliation and love” that can be seen at the Artscape Opera House from Friday, May 19, to Saturday, May 27.
With Olivier and Tony award nominated director Melly Still leading a British creative team, this short run will be a rare opportunity to be the first to see a major new international musical.
Leading the cast in the role of John Stuart is Broadway musical star John Owen-Jones. Acclaimed as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, Owen-Jones recently appeared as Valjean on the 25th Anniversary Tour of ‘Les Misérables’.
The Next 48hOURS caught up with Owen-Jones with opening night barely a week away.
Why did you want to be involved in Tiger Bay the Musical ?
Firstly I thought the script and music were interesting and very strong and I was excited about the chance to be part of something from the very beginning. I also see the project as an opportunity to work with some very talented people and learn about different cultures. I was hoping that rehearsing and performing the show in Cape Town would be an educational experience and so far that has proved to be true. As an actor I always want to learn new things so I’m really enjoying the experience of working in South Africa for the first time.
How is the character of John Stewart like you or different from you?
He’s a man suffering with an illness called “Bright’s Disease” and at the same time an intense, unending grief for the loss of a loved one. These are things I’ve never really had to endure. It’s tricky trying to tell that story as I’ve not quite had the same life experience, so I’m having to draw on all my skills as an actor to do justice to the character as it’s written.
How different does it feel to be playing a “new” character, as opposed to an established character like the Phantom?
Playing a role like Phantom is fun as you are allowed to put your own spin on it, but you have to do so within the existing framework of the show. When one is creating a new character from the ground up there are no limitations, so it’s very satisfying; especially when one can help influence the shape of writing and the way the story is tol
* Book at Computicket.
Two lucky readers can each win a family package of four tickets to the opening night of ‘Tiger Bay the Musical’ on Saturday, May 20. To win, you have to be a subscriber of The Next 48hOURS. Send your name and “Tiger Bay” in the subject line in an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org before 12pm on Monday, May 15. If you are NOT a subscriber, send an email to email@example.com, then you may enter…Good luck!