Amra-Faye Wright first guest on new online talk show, 'SPOTLIGHT ON'
With the theatre industry still closed due to Covid-19, the virtual space has become the new outlet to catch international stage productions as well as engage with the theatre fraternity.
With regards to the latter aspect, a theatre talk show called, "SPOTLIGHT ON", has been conceived.
And it is helmed by the inimitable Kate Normington.
Created and co-produced by Rowan Bakker and Collett Dawson, the weekly chat show sees Normington engage with personalities from the entertainment industry, who live abroad and have made giant strides in various facets of the industry.
In sharing their backstories, these guests inspire as well as entertain.
On being a part of this show, Normington revealed: “I am happy to be able to turn the idea of the lockdown on its head by reaching out to South African artists across the globe to find out what it is they have been doing over this time, and perhaps to also pick their brains about how artists will redefine their roles in this virtual space.”
She continued: “Having said that, the amount of creativity that is emerging, although not live, is proving how indomitable the artistic spirit is. Singers are singing. Actors are creating sketches. Orchestras are playing exquisite music and being conducted in their individual homes by a conductor in his.
"We saw it in China and Italy. People have to reach out to one another to feel connected and because they haven't been allowed to, they started to find other ways to do it. Artists will find a way, even if it means hanging out of a window to get better reception to record a song.
"They'll swing from the chandeliers if it was required and I'm sure there are stories out there of artists who have.”
Normington, like many artists at the moment, felt the impact of the lockdown.
She added: “ I had finished a run of the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' at Montecasino playing the part of the narrator shortly before the lockdown was announced, so in a sense, I managed to get one last production in before we were required to stop. With the uncertainty of when theatres might open again, I am currently preparing a show for some time in October at the Montecasino studio...but whether the virus and regulations will allow for this route, is yet to be seen.”
At the moment, Amra-Faye Wright, Sifiso Mazibuko, Suanne Brown and Edward Baker-Duly feature in the line-up in the coming weeks with Wright kicking things off.
Normington pointed out: “'SPOTLIGHT ON' is a relaxed talk show which hopes to entertain and inspire viewers in South Africa - and South Africans abroad as well - with interviews about old South African theatre alumni. This will include footage of all their recent international work and an informal chat about the roads they have each travelled to get where they are.
“As a performer myself, and having worked in the UK for five years, I'm really excited to hear about the journey these artists have taken, and the different paths they opted for. The industries in the UK and America are so very diverse from one another in a lot of ways so it will be fascinating to hear how these artists have navigated their waters.
"Every artist has a different perspective and experience so I think this will lift the production value of a show which strives to celebrate South African talent and hear the different stories that will be told. In a sense, they are our children returning to tell us of their voyages and the least we can do is listen. It's going to be such fun.”
"SPOTLIGHT ON" launches on Wednesday, May 27, at 8pm. Viewers are encouraged to tune in on &SCENE’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels.
For direct viewing link click here: www.andscene.live.