The Cape Town Show launches at the Rainbow Room

The Cape Town Show launches at the Rainbow Room

When ten talented youngsters were chosen to be part of a brand new experiential show at The Rainbow Room at Mandela Rhodes Place in the heart of Cape Town’s Old City, little did they know that their lives would change irrevocably.

As the first young adults selected for the Rainbow Academy, a non-profit organisation aimed at young adults who are passionate about the performing arts but lack the resources for tertiary training, here was their chance to shine as a contributing cast member in a brand new production.

Five months of intensive rehearsals later and these youngsters who hail from suburbs across the Peninsula, from Mannenberg to Retreat, Fish Hoek to Mitchells Plain, have proved their passion. Under the professional guidance of acclaimed performer Denay Willie with the assistance of co-director and pianist Godfrey Johnson with choreographer Didi Moses, they have danced, sung (under the tutelage of Ryta Zmuro) and acted their way through to present a show that is the epitome of the Cape Town scene. The professional team of actors and musicians, “ Dobs” Madotveni, Josh Prinsloo and Jade de Waal lead the show and mentor these enthusiastic young hopefuls to light up the Cape Town stage.

The Cape Town Show, written and directed by Willie is hot and happening from the first week in November. Supported by the Cape Argus the Cape Town Show is set to sizzle on the stage of the Rainbow Room, and, as these youngsters tread the boards and release their energy in this stimulating and fast paced show; this will be a must-see on the Cape Town circuit. The young adults will be working as waiters, bartenders and, as performers, showing off their singing, dancing, acting and musical skills at each show

The show uses music, dialogue and audio visuals to explain the history, struggle and eventually the freedom of the people of South Africa. The essence of this show is Cape Town contextualized in a way that finally tells the Mother City’s story.

Celebrating many of the unsung heroes, our shameful and magical moments in history but above all Cape Town’s unique people whose tenacity, endurance and hilarious sense of humour has prevailed, the Cape Town Show captures our unique history.

Sizzling, soulful, energetic and a cultural celebration of our rainbow nation and the city’s people, lives and heritage you’ll be taken on a historical journey in two acts defining six decades of our struggle and fight for freedom. The city’s colorful and collective past and present is told through the works of legendary & contemporary musical and performing greats: Robbie Jansen; Winston Mankuku, David Kramer, Taliep Pietersen, Miriam Makeba , Johnny Clegg and more. Across the divide of color, race and ethnicity this unified voice of protest for freedom and equality laid the foundations for the Rainbow Nation as we know it today.

Founders of the Rainbow Academy and co-owners of Rainbow Room, Frank Gormley and Alison McCutcheon both agree that the performers have exceeded their expectations.

“The Academy is fulfilling its mandate of offering students the opportunity to earn while they learn in a creative and live entertainment environment. Their talent has been honed and grown through a mentorship programme which centred round tuition in the performing arts and most importantly has provided them with the business skills to create a sustainable future in the show business world.” Says Gormley, whilst McCutcheon adds “From Cape Jazz, Goemma and the Kaapse Klopse – Township jive, Kwela and Mpantsula-to “Liedjies”, “Grappies”,”Pata Pata” and gum-boot dancing, the Cape Town show captures the very heart and essence of our people, our legacy and the soul of our city. The vitality and commitment that we have seen during the rehearsal period has been extraordinary and the audience is going to be blown away when they see the results”

The ten youngsters have put in many hours of work over the intensive rehearsal period but with one voice they all attest to the growth and understanding that they have enjoyed during the time. As a team they all agree that every moment has been worth it and that they now have a realistic vision of what the future can hold.

Walied Fortuin, 21 years old from Mannenberg, along with fellow Academy performers; Sinethemba Dorame, 18 years old from Khayelitsha, Thabo Spelman, 19 years old from Phillippi East, Justin Kok, 19 years old from Heathfield, Angus Swarts, 19 years old from Retreat, Sinovuyo Nzukuma 20 years old from Mannenberg, Amy Petterson, 18 years old from Fish Hoek, Roxanne Abrahams, 20 years old from Mitchells Plain, Nokubonga Manyawya, 20 years old from Khayelitsha, Nakeshia Kerchhoff, 20 years old from Mitchells Plain, sums up this extraordinary experience that has changed their lives “ I have learnt to respect our different cultures and understand that if we work together we can make a difference in everyone’s life”

Where: The Rainbow Room in Mandela Rhodes Place, Cape Town

When: From 5 November (watch the press for details) every Wednesday and Friday from 7pm.

Cost: R295 per person which includes a three course dinner or R120 per person (show only)

For more information: contact Alison on 021 422 1418 / alison.


Denay Willie (Director and Lead)

Godfrey Johnson (Co-Director and pianist)

Mvaskalisi Dobs Madotveni (Lead male actor, vocalist – tenor, musician – traditional instruments)

Josh Prinsloo (male actor, vocalist and musician)

Jade de Waal (saxophonist)

Rainbow Academy

Angus Swarts (drums and vocals)

Justin Kok (guitarist and vocals)

Sinethemba Dorane (soloist and vocals)

Walied Fortuin (vocals and dancer)

Thabo Spelman (vocals and dancer)

Sinovuyo Nzukuma (vocals and actor)

Amy Petterson (vocals)

Nakeshia Kerrchhoff (vocals)

Roxanne Abrahams (vocals)

Nokubonga Manyonya (soloist and vocals)

Show Dates

1ST November – Monday : Final Dress Rehearsal

3rd November – Wednesday : Invited Guests preview

5th November – Friday : Opening night to the public

From then on shows on Wednesdays and Fridays

Matinee Dates for December: Sat 04 Dec, Sat 11 Dec, Sat 18 Dec

Times: All 14h00rs start time.

Pricing: Adults R150, Under 12 years R100

Price includes Cup cakes, Popcorn.

The Rainbow Academy

The concept behind The Rainbow Academy is to provide Rainbow young adults who are passionate about the performing arts the opportunity to be part of an experiential show as contributing cast members. Their talent will be honed and grown through a mentorship programme which centers round tuition in the performing arts and most importantly provides them with the business skills to create a sustainable future in the show business world. Through an extensive search ten talented kids between the ages of 17 – 21, who have not had the opportunity of tertiary education, were chosen to join the Rainbow Academy. The talent of the ten kids staggered and amazed the judges and their all round performance skills in singing, dancing and acting landed them this opportunity of a life time.

The Rainbow Academy is a non-profit organization run by professionals in the business who are determined to make a difference and give of their time to talented youth who would otherwise not have the opportunity. The mentorship programme centres around the tuition provided by Denay Willie who is a teacher of music and vocal performance and the director of The Rainbow Room’s CAPE TOWN SHOW. The key principal vocal performers and musicians of the Cape Town Show will be contracted in addition to their Show performances to mentor The Rainbow Academy students in so doing giving back to the arts in a genuine and meaningful way. They must be prepared to share their knowledge with our students.

The team at Rainbow are approaching professionals, corporate companies and the Department of Arts and Culture for both financial support of the Academy and quantifiable mentorship hours so that the students may benefit from a measurable and structured study programme aimed at making them outstanding, enterprising performing artists.

For further information: Alison McCutcheon,The Rainbow Experience, Alison

(021) 422 1418

Harry Brooks JNR debut album ‘5th Of April’ to be released in September

Harry Brooks JNR a superb young English singer/songwriter has just signed to Sony Music Africa!

25 year old Harry Brooks JNR moved to South Africa from the UK in late 2009.

‘I love South Africa’ says Harry, ‘the lifestyle, the weather, the people, the landscapes, and the diverse cultural melting pot, that South Africa is .

Harry’s musical background is an interesting one, based largely in song writing, he’s composed music with Busbee (Nashville, USA), Roger Sanchez, John McLaughlin & Studio B. Harry co-wrote ‘Baby Goodbye’ for Friday Hill which entered the UK Charts at #5 in 2005, he co-wrote ‘Bad Girl (At Night)’ for Dave Spoon feat. Lisa Maffia (whichwas granted the ultimate stamp of approval by becoming Pete Tong’s Essential New Tune & signed immediately by Apollo / Universal, going on to be a massive club hit). Harry has worked with producers like Lee Russell (David Grey, Ryan Adams) & with top Swedish producer Murlyn who produced hit records for the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Christina Milian, Celine Dion & Sugababes.

Harry Brooks JNR started work on a solo album some 7 years ago with old friend and fellow musical genius (& producer) Mathias Wollo. Mathias has produced and/or written music for Lemar, Rascall Flatts, Meatloaf, Wiley, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Bananarama & Dannii Minogue, achieving a cluster of Top 5 singles in the UK & US in the process. He started out as a singer/songwriter and was signed up as a recording & live performance artist on V2 Records.

Mathias Wollo played all of the instruments on ‘5th Of April’ and instigated a lot of the songwriting in Nashville, USA with other A-List songwriters.

The album ‘5th Of April’ has been a labour of love, involving a huge amount of song writing & recording over a substantial period of time. ‘The album took a while to bring together’ says Mathias ‘we’re two artists with a strong respect for each others abilities, so we knew we’d finish it eventually’.

Fast forward to 2010, Harry Brooks JNR signs to Sony Music Africa’s South African Music division, resolute that he will begin his career as a recording artist in South Africa. ‘I want to start here’ says Harry, ‘hopefully I can grow alongside South Africa in the world in general over the next few years’.

‘Harry Brooks JNR is an unbelievably gifted artist, of a standard comparable to the very best in the world’ says Sean Watson, head of SA music at Sony Music Africa, ‘we’re expecting to take the current standard of local contemporary music in South Africa to the next level with Harry Brooks JNR…..Harry should be viewed as a local artist as he will be beginning his recording & performance career with us in South Africa, essentially joining the ranks of Sony Music Africa’s South African stars’.

Harry Brooks JNR’s debut album is titled ‘5th Of April’ and is scheduled for release in South Africa in September 2010.

Album single #1 ‘Take Me Home’ goes to radio on July 25th.

The music video for ‘Take Me Home’ was shot & directed by Thomas Ferrera on a 3 day shoot across the beautiful landscapes of South Africa.

To preview the new single & video & go to: