PRESENTING THE TALENT: Actor and soapie star Jonathan Taylor (centre, in orange) is in town, appearing in the Barnyard Theatres Strictly No 1s.

Latoya Newman

JONATHAN Taylor is one actor with barrels of experience under his belt, from stage to film to TV – most recently seen in Isidingo, 7de Laan, Egoli, 4-play/Sex Tips for Girls and Rhythm City.

With 40-odd years’ experience in the bag, he can now be seen for the first time on The Barnyard stage in their festive season show, Strictly No 1’s.

The show, running until January 5, comprises six decades of chart-topping songs and features many of the highlights and milestones taken from Billboard’s Hottest 100 Hits.

Featuring an 11-piece cast, the show’s crazy DJ/host (played by Taylor) will take you back to the hit parade number one songs on local radio stations like Springbok Radio and LM Radio. Songs from the likes of Madonna, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Whitney Houston and Bruce Springsteen feature in the show.

Taylor explained how trying his hand at working full-time with The Barnyard came after a call from director Duck Chowles about the show.

“I thought this was something different that I haven’t done. Barnyard shows are also very popular, and if you work with them you know you are working with some of the best singers and musicians,” he said.

Since opening on October 15, Taylor said Strictly No 1’s has been a hit.

“The audience response to the show has been great… This particular Barnyard show is a little different. We have a wider range of songs, I rap in German – can you believe it? I also do a solo version of American Pie, which has a nice little surprise to it.”

Taylor said that as host he also gets to do a lot of impersonations, adding to the variety in the show.

Commenting on the choice of music, Taylor said Chowles has a brilliant knack for putting together a programme of songs that take the audience on a journey.

“He is brilliant with getting the order of songs together and choosing the right songs… I will admit, and I told this to Duck, that I am absolutely a hater of medleys. But the way Duck does them, almost as if the songs were written as one… I like the way he does that.”

Taylor believes in the purity of live music and that this show is one that showcases a host of musical talent.

Taylor is backed up on vocals by Lee Paver, Marvin Nethononda, Josh Ansley, Jae Green and Caelee Vercueil. The band will consist of Thomson (keyboards), Jethro Strange (guitar), Mark Freel (bass guitar) and Dylan van der Linde (drums).

l To accommodate the festive season, lunchtime shows (1.30pm) have been added. The Barnyard will still be staging their Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve shows, and an extra show on December 30. Tickets range from R150 (Wednesday to Saturday), R115 on Tuesday nights and R100 for the Sunday matinee. There is a price difference for the New Year’s Eve show, which includes countdown and open dance floor. Call 031 566 3045.