The Guitar that Rocked the World
Presented in association with the Jo'burg Theatre, most of the original team who staged this hugely popular show have teamed up again to restage this innovative production which scooped a Vita Award for Best Musical when it played to sold-out houses in two successive Durban seasons, with a tour to Cape Town in between, during which it picked up two Fleur du Cap Award nominations.
Originally created by Themi Venturas and Barry Thomson, The Guitar That Rocked the World was the culmination of a dream they shared to dedicate a show to the legendary Fender Stratocaster guitar. The show celebrates the history of this fabled instrument that changed the face of rock music when it was championed by musical legends such as Buddy Holly, The Shadows, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, and a host of others.
This is a show about dreams, specifically the dream of a teenage boy, Stevie, who fantasizes that he meets Leo Fender, the inventor of the Fender Strat. Such was the production’s runaway success that it effectively launched Barry Thomson’s career in Durban, along with those of Andy Turrell, Janine Bennewith and Rowan Stuart, who originally played the part of Stevie.
Directed by Themi Venturas, with musical direction by Dawn Selby, the new production stars Barry Thomson on lead guitar, with Andy Turrell and Rowan Stuart on Fender Strats, Glen Turrell on bass, Mali Sewell on drums, Dawn Selby on keyboards, with Daniel Basckin as the teenage protégé, Stevie.
Frank Graham reprises his performance as the ghost of Leo Fender, with Jonathon Didlick and Bryan Hiles filling the show’s lead vocals spots, playing opposite a high-powered line-up of dancers comprising Janine Bennewith (who is also the show’s choreographer), Celeste Nel, Danny Ribbnik and Jacqueline Bowles.
The spectacular show will have the full technical support of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre staff, with sound design by Jackie Cunniffe, lighting design by Mark Kleinert and stage management by Susan Roberts.
Classic mega-hits to be heard in the show include, among others, That’ll Be the Day, Oh Boy, Apache, Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Hey Joe, All Along the Watchtower, Layla, Tears in Heaven, Smoke on the Water, Sultans of Swing, Weeping, Rude Mood, Lay Down Sally and After Midnight.