ACCLAIMED South African singer and actor Barend van der Westhuizen will make his British debut in a major revival of classic musical My Fair Lady, which comes to South Yorkshire this April.
The concert artist, recitalist, stage performer and teacher, a graduate of South Africa’s Stellenbosch University, will star as Freddy Enysnford-Hill in Theatre Impromptu’s production of the Broadway and movie favourite, which runs from April 15 to 26.
Barend is well known as a soloist in numerous Baroque, classical and romantic operas, operettas, oratorios and sacred music appearances, including a performance of Mozart’s Requiem before Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
He has twice won the national ATKV MUZIQ competition’s Singing Category, as well as the Best Vocal Performance of a South African work.
He was also awarded first place in the Mabel Quick Singing Bursary Competition and the one-off Michelle Breedt Singing Prize.
Barend was approached to appear in Theatre Impromptu’s new production of My Fair Lady after director Jonathan Walker-Kane spotted him in a Cape Town revival of the show and invited him to join several other South African performers in making their British debut alongside a cast of some of the best known community theatre performers in South Yorkshire.
Jonathan Walker-Kane’s previous directing credits include Fiddler on the Roof and Jesus Christ Superstar at Sheffield’s Lyceum, A Man For All Seasons at Sheffield Cathedral, Aspects of Love at West Yorkshire Playhouse and The Boyfriend, South Pacific, Follies, A Little Night Music, Shirley Valentine, The King and I and Talking Heads at Buxton Opera House.
He directed an acclaimed revival of musical classic Oliver at the Church of St Giles in the Field in London’s West End as well as productions of Taken at Midnight at Penistone Parish Church and Man of La Mancha at the famous Leeds City Varieties.
Recent productions for Theatre Impromptu – the specially converted St Saviour’s Church in Thurlstone – include Evita, Arcadia, The Deep Blue Sea and Tell Me On a Sunday.
In a notable change of style, his new production of My Fair Lady will be accompanied by two grand pianos playing some of the most famous melodies in musical history – Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, The Rain in Spain, The Street Where You Live, With a Little Bit of Luck, I Could Have Danced All Night, Show Me, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face and the Ascot Gavotte.
My Fair Lady comes to Theatre Impromptu – the specially converted Thurlstone Parish Church – from April 15 to 26. For tickets visit https://theatreimpromptu.tessera.events