Take a trip down memory lane

2014-03-11 00:00

HOWICK High School is getting ready to give music fans a treat with the new musical A Tribute to Four Jacks and a Jill, which will be staged in the school hall at 7 pm from tomorrow until Friday.

Written by Debbie le Roux, who also co-produced the show with musical director Mark Houston, the story is told through songs such as Master Jack, Ramaja, I Love You Timothy and U niversal Feeling.

Speaking about the show and how it came about, Le Roux said, “I wrote to Four Jacks and a Jill and explained that I wanted to write a musical based on their music ... They said it would be fine as long as it didn’t depict any of the band members in a non-Christian way.”

The musical, which is similar in style to the Abba-based Mamma Mia, stars Grace Crooks as Lucy, Howick High head boy Joshua Bull as Timothy and Allan Fryer as Master Jack.

Head girl Suman Nunkumar plays Michelle, Lucy’s rival in the show, and Lindi Dlamini is Suzy.

Houston is responsible for providing the musical backing, with band members Luthando Nzuza on drums, Kyle Seagreen on bass guitar, Joshua Chetty on lead guitar, pianist Preston Govender and Elijah Hall on vocals and percussion.

“We cast the show at the end of last year and have been practising for the whole term,” Houston said. “The performers had to learn 10 songs in six weeks.”

The tribute show also has 40 dancers, with choreography also by Le Roux.

Four Jacks and a Jill is the only South African group to date, to make the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States with three songs, all written and produced in SA. Master Jack reached the number eight spot.

The group came about when solo artist Glenys Lynne teamed up with rock band the The Zombies, in 1964. The band had been booked by the Luxurama Theater — the only multi-racial theatre in SA at that time — to be her backing group.

They went on to enjoy huge success at home and abroad, touring the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Holland, Spain, Portugal, in South America and in Africa.

Houston said that while he hadn’t known much about Four Jacks and a Jill before the show, he had recognised a lot of their songs.

Tickets for A Tribute to Four Jacks and a Jill are R40 each and bookings can be made with Mrs Henderson at 033 330 2858.

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