Cape Town - The South African theatre world is preparing to launch another thrilling show, this time inspired by one of the country’s most eccentric characters – Elizabeth Klarer.
The brand new, original musical called Star+Crossed, which was developed with funding from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture through their Mzansi Golden Economy initiative, will premiere in Cape Town at Artscape Arena from December 9 to December 31.
Explaining the concept of the show, spokesperson Collett Dawson revealed that it was created and produced by Abrahamse and Meyer Productions who joined forces with VR Theatrical.
Dawson said: “Star+Crossed explores how we use stories and fantasies to transmute a dark, barren world into something more meaningful, mythic and beautiful. Klarer gained fame and notoriety during the height of apartheid with her incredible claim that she was abducted by an alien from the foothills of the Drakensberg.
“She claimed that she was transported to his Utopian planet in the Alpha Centauri System, where she bore him a son, before returning to Earth to spread his message of love, compassion and his urgent call to protect our planet and find more sustainable ways of living here on earth.
“It spans almost nine decades from 1910, with the formation of the Union of South Africa, until 1994 when Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president,” Dawson said.
The musical, features book and lyrics by Marcel Meyer and music by Wessel Odendaal, and centres on two unlikely people finding each other in extraordinary circumstances while forging a profound connection that transcends, time, space and South Africa’s oppressive apartheid laws.
“Theatre dears Isabella Jane and Earl Gregory star as Bess and Billy, the lead characters, and portray this intricate interstellar love story for the ages with a lush, romantic, original score that is bound to transport audiences to the stratosphere and beyond.”
Librettist and Star+Crossed co-producer Marcel Meyer said: “At its heart, Star+Crossed celebrates the power of storytelling. Which stories we choose to tell, how we tell them and why.
“We are excited to share this unique and powerful story with theatre lovers in the Mothercity. Star+Crossed not only brings to life a brand-new, proudly South African narrative, it also showcases the talent of some of the top industry professionals currently working in the theatre sector.”
Commenting on what it was like to bring the character of Billy to life, Earl Gregory said: “Lending my voice to creating a role is a dream I never knew I had. How wonderfully freeing it is as an actor to walk into the creative space with no point of reference to any version that has ever existed before.
“I get to play my part in a way that is unique to Earl Gregory and that is my power. South Africa has such a diverse landscape for our stories to be told, and I am proud to have a small part in presenting something that has so much potential and possibility on offer,” Gregory said.
In anticipation of the musical’s opening, a digital Original Cast Album will be released on all major music platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify.
Star+Crossed performances will be on Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8 pm, with additional matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets range from R200 to R250.