MEDIA RELEASE

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A celebration of Nelson Mandela

MADIBA The Musical

FIRST CAST ANNOUNCEMENT
WITH THE ROLE OF NELSON MANDELA YET TO BE ANNOUNCED

Tickets now on sale for the October opening in Melbourne,
and performances in Sydney and Canberra in November
Opens Melbourne 3 October, Sydney 1 November, Canberra 22 November

The creators of inspiring and energetic new stage show MADIBA The Musical – A Celebration of the Life of Nelson Mandela, are proud to announce the cast members for the show’s upcoming premiere Australian season.

Australian producer Neil Croker said an exciting line up of talented singers, actors and dancers forMADIBA The Musical has been named, with the role of Nelson Mandela yet to be announced.

Directed by Pierre-Yves Duchesne and Dennis Watkins, Musical Director Michael Tyack and Choreographer Johan Nus, the following artists are starring: Tim Omaji; Tarisai Vushe; Blake Erickson; Madeline Perrone; Barry Conrad; Ruva Ngwenya; David Denis. Artists in the Ensemble areJoe Gaudion; Courtney Bell; Riley Sutton.

Popular Australian Actor and singer, Tim Omaji, also known by stage name Timomatic, plays the role of Sam Onatou, a young black activist who is arrested in South Africa. In prison he meets the manknown as “Madiba”, Nelson Mandela.

Tarisai Vushe plays Sam’s fiancée Sandy who works for the family of a white policeman, Peter Van Ledon, played by Sydney actor Blake Erickson.

Madeline Perrone plays the policeman’s daughter Helena, who Sam asks to help free Mandela. Barry Conrad, Sam’s younger brother William, falls in love with Helena. As a fictional parallel story toMandela’s work as a lawyer and activist for peace, the romance between young artist Will and white Afrikaans girl Helena tells of the struggle and tragedy of the apartheid regimen.

Following her performance as Shirelles lead singer Shirley Owens in the successful national touring production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Ruva Ngwenya plays the role of Winnie Mandela.

French writers Alicia Sebrien and Jean-Pierre Hadida said in creating Madiba The Musical, they wantedto tell the story of Mandela’s pursuit of peace and reconciliation in his homeland. They said the musical was also timed to mark 25 years since the abolition of apartheid in South Africa, and the year that Mandela would have turned 100 if he was still alive.

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The first English language production of MADIBA The Musical opens in Australia in October 2018 following acclaimed performances in France, Northern Africa and the West Indies. In 2019 the show is to tour to New Zealand and other international markets soon to be announced.

VENUE AND DATES TICKETS NOW ON SALE

MADIBA THE MUSICAL – National Australian Tour

MELBOURNE Venue Bookings

SYDNEY Venue Bookings

CANBERRA Venue Bookings

3 to 21 October
Comedy Theatre
Tickets from $79www.ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100

1 to 11 November
State Theatre
Tickets from $79www.ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100

22 to 24 November
Canberra Theatre
Tickets from $79www.ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100

www.madibamusical.com.au

@MadibaMusicalAU #MadibaMusicalAU

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

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NATIONAL and MELBOURNE
CAVANAGH PR
Julie Cavanagh M: 0419 306 540 or julie@cavpr.com.auLarissa Anderson M: 0419 348 938 or larissa@cavpr.com.au

SYDNEY and CANBERRA
POLLACK CONSULTING: Bruce Pollack (02) 9331 5276 or bruce@pollackconsulting.comAB PUBLICITY: Amanda Buckworth M: 0413 949 140 or amanda@abpublicity.com.au

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Cast members of Madiba the Musical:

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Tim Omaji as Sam Onatou
Tim Omaji is an Australian singer-songwriter and dancer who secured his first leading musical theatre role as Tyrone in 2010 in the Australian touring production of Fame the Musical. Widely recognised by his stage name Timomatic, Tim rose to fame as a contestant on TV showSo You Think You Can Dance in 2009. He was a top 3 finalist onAustralia’s Got Talent in 2011 and released his 4 times platinum ARIA nominated single Set It Off through Sony Music Australia. His latest musical offering ‘Mash It Up’ premiered on Channel 7’s Dance Boss and he will perform in ‘In The Heights’ at the Hayes Theatre in March.

Barry Conrad as William Xulu
Barry Conrad takes a leading role in Madiba The Musical following his performances in acclaimed production Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Barry also toured nationally playing Seaweed in Hairspray Arena Spectacular in 2016, and in 2017 he had the role of Kenickie inGrease: The Arena Experience. Barry made his musical theatre debut in the Australian premiere production of Broadway smash Violet which had critically-acclaimed seasons in Melbourne and Sydney.

Ruva Ngwenya as Winnie Mandela
RUVA is an Australian based singer/actor of Zimbabwean decent. At age five she showed signs of exceptional musicianship and went on to study at Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. In 2013 she went onto the top 6 Girls Category of Australia’s Xfactor Series. Ruva’s was castas Shenzi in the celebrated Disney musical The Lion King. She understudied Killer Queen in the Australian 2016 national tour of We Will Rock You, followed by The Production Company’s Dusty the Musical. Most recently, Ruva was seen in the original Australian cast of Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. In 2017, Ruva was a top 24 finalist for season 6 of The Voiceand has released an original EP Humble Brag

Tarisai Vushe as Sandy Xulu
Tarisai Vushe travelled from Zimbabwe to Australia in her mid-teens and studied music theatre at the Australian Institute of Music. Following her 5th place success in TV series Australian Idol she launched her debut single Head Over Heels in 2010. In 2017 Tarisai secured her first professional musical theatre role in the touring Australian production of Disney musical The Lion King.

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Blake Erickson as Peter Van Ledon
Blake recently toured with the international production of Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables. Prior to this he made his New York debut leading the cast of Stalker: The Musical at the Lynn Redgrave Theater. Recent credits include High Fidelity, Melba, and his acclaimed
cabaret Hold Me Closer Logies Dancer, all at Sydney’s Hayes
Theatre. For his performance in the title role of the one-man
show Pearls Before Swine: An Evening With Orson Welles (Neil Gooding Productions), he won Best Actor at the inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival Awards before embarking on a national tour.

Madeline Perrone as Helena Van Leden
Madeline’s involvement in the industry began at a young age, placing 3rd inAustralia’s Got Talent at just 12 years old. Madeline’s training includes Film and TV at NYCDA and graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.Her first role out of college was Bonnie Parker inBonnie and Clyde, winning a Broadway World Award of Best Actress in a Musical (regional, national and touring).Madeline toured Fiddler on the Roof (TML Enterprises) as Shprintze (Hodel Cover) after returning from shows in theUSA as Wendy in Disney’s Peter Pan and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Other credits include Curtains (The Production Co.), Peppa Pig’s Big Splash(Life Like Company), Disneyland, Universal Studios, Rock Rhapsody (Good Egg Creative) aboard cruise lines and was a semi-finalist in the Rob Guest Endowment award (2016)

David Dennis as The Narrator
David Denis began dance training at fifteen years of age under the guidance of

the Howard sisters at Sydney’s Brent Street studios where he later completed the certificate IV in performing arts. David wentona National Tour with The Ambassador group production Ghost: The Musical.
David appeared for Disney in The Lion Kingfor four years in Australia and on The West End, London. For GFO he has played Boom-Boom Johnson inLegends!and the role of Tyrone in Kelley Abbey’s Fame: The Musical. For Opera Australia David featured as Seabee in South Pacific.

On screen David has played Jean-Michel Basquiatin Jim Sharman’s film Andy X, and he worked with Peter Jackson on King Kongin the role of Taps.
In recent years, David has had success as a contemporary dancer working alongside Kylie Minogue, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Taylor Swift and Guy Sebastian. David is also a rapper, singer and song writer under the name Davey.

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