DIRECTOR: Clinton Philander

MUSIC DIRECTOR: Chris van der Westhuizen

CAST: Clinton Philander, Joe Zacheus, Gavin Esterhuizen, Jae, Liza Louw, Calli Thompson, Regardt De Bruin, Kelly Joubert, Dylan van der Linde and Kirsty Madgin

VENUE: The Barnyard Theatre, Gateway

UNTIL: March 3

RATING: ****

IF you’re keen on escaping to pure white sands, bikini bods, chilled cocktails and beach huts with a selection of some of the finest songs for a few hours, then the Barnyard Theatre’s latest production, Surf’s Up, is for you.

For that ultimate beach experience, expect to be taken to exotic musical destinations such Jamaica, where you can dance the night away to the sounds of Bob Marley and UB 40. Then head to California for the harmonies of The Beach Boys, and then it’s off to Miami with Katy Perry, and Sheryl Crow and not forgetting the feel-good South African songs by Mango Groove.

Getting the party started, the first act features a great selection of songs from a wide range of music such as Beyoncé’s Halo and Crazy In Love to the Banana Boat Song (Day-O’), Pink’s Raise Your Glass and more. The second half ranges from hits by Kings of Leon to Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger.

First, it should be noted how impeccable the set and lighting design are. With a beautiful tropical background, beach bars and stools, the set definitely reinforced the theme of the production and gave you the beach experience.

The crew are highly talented. They all bring something exceptional to the table and kudos to the vocalists for a job well done. A very familiar face in our music industry, but a newcomer to the Barnyard family, is Jae.

As an accomplished R&B star, her years of experience are apparent and she does not hold back. She is the showstopper, delivering brilliant vocals that demonstrate depth and range.

The highlight of the show is a draw between her solo performance of Halo and her duet of Crazy In Love with male vocalist, Zacheus. These acts had the crowd cheering wildly on the day I attended the show.

Female vocalist Louw should also be commended on her performance. She is full of energy and gets the audience going with her enthusiastic and vibey presence on stage.

Another favourite is male vocalist Philander, who also happens to be the director of Surf’s Up. With one of the most charismatic and easygoing personalities I’ve seen on stage, Philander is very natural and interacted with the audience throughout the show. It’s also apparent that the crowd can’t get enough of his humorous side and even joined him in singing along.

The synergy between the cast and the audience was notable, creating an amazing atmosphere. Another highlight was when Philander asked everyone to get up and dance, which was real fun and added to the enjoyment of the production.

As for the costumes, it was a great selection fitting the beach theme perfectly. From bikinis to board shorts, tropical shirts and sunglasses, they were spectacular.

On the whole, the show should certainly not be missed. Setting a relaxing tone and beach party atmosphere, Surf’s Up offers a great variety of music that we all know and love.

• The production runs until March 3. Tickets: R140 from Wednesday to Saturday, with specials of R105 every Tuesday night and R95 for the Sunday matinee.

For bookings and enquiries, phone 031 566 3045 or visit gateway. For further information e-mail [email protected], or visit barnyard.