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RICHARD LORING
Producer/Director

 

Richard Loring, born in Guernsey in the Channel Islands, has extensive experience in the entertainment industry as both a performer and producer. After a successful West End career, in musicals and records, he left London in the late 60’s to play Tony in The Boyfriend in South Africa, a country he soon adopted as his home. Quickly establishing himself on the local theatre scene, he then moved on to movie appearances, record releases and television shows. Remembered best for strutting onto the stage in high heels and odd socks as the Narrator in the 70’s smash hit Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the 80’s saw a major career shift from entertainer to producer. Specialised entertainment and major events for corporate clients, opening his own theatre, The Sound Stage, became the norm. Richard has found time to serve as Chairman of the Theatre Benevolent Fund, was Charter Member of Midrand Rotary, is a Paul Harris fellow and serves as a member of The Order of St John and was Chairman of the Theatre Managements of South Africa. Richard constantly lives out his own philosophy that “Life is a Journey, not a Destination”.
 


DEBBIE BATZOFIN
Associate Producer
/Production Director
 

Since starting her theatre career in 1973 with Ipi Tombi, Debbie has worked in all aspects of theatre, film and television. In 1983 she joined forces with Richard Loring to form one of the most successful independent theatre companies in South Africa. Career highlights include the Persian Gulf tour of A Touch of Webber – A Taste of Rice and the Royal Command Performance of Girl Talk in Malaysia. At the Sound Stage, Debbie co-directed Yellow Brick Road with Bryan Hill, for which they received a Vita nomination, and co-directed Girl Talk – Nite Out with Sandy Dyer. African Footprint highlights: Millennium Night on Robben Island; Royal Command Performance in London and St James’ Palace, London. As Resident Director, Debbie has toured extensively with African Footprint for over 8 years and recently remained in South Africa to be part of the team which built the Lyric Theatre!

Award Winning choreographer Debbie Rakusin has established herself as one of the leading choreographers in South Africa. Over the years she has successfully explored the fusion of varied tap and jazz styles. She established the well known Vusa Dance Company in 1994 which toured to Australia; she taught at the Bat Dor Dance Company in Israel and at the Dallas Performing Arts School in the USA. Her awards include: Standard Bank Young Artist Award, FNB Vita for Most Outstanding Choreographer, Breaking Barriers Award and Naledi Awards. Debbie has choreographed for major South African musicals such as Ipi Tombi, The Wiz, The Boyfriend and Little Shop of Horrors. Other highlights include World Cup Rugby 1995 Closing Ceremony, World Cup Cricket 2003 Opening Ceremony,Madiba’s 85th Birthday Party, African Footprint: Millennium Night, Robben Island; worked with Tina Turner on WildestDream Tour and is thrilled to be part of theongoing success of African Footprint.
 


DEBBIE RAKUSIN
Choreographer
 

Having started a dancing career fairly late in life at 19, this dancer/choreographer made a strong impression on all who have worked with him. He travelled with “Free Flight Dance Company” to Germany and Switzerland. Tina Turner was so impressed with him, she gave him a 1 year scholarship to attend the Alvin Ailey Dance School in New York . David has extensive teaching experience; at Broadway Dance Project, South Africa, AFDA School and Pretoria Technikon. In 2007, David was resident choreographer for the Lion King, South Africa and is currently working on a road show for SABC 2, “Dorp to Dorp” and teaching dance classes at Kelsey Middleton Dance Company. David has also appeared and choreographed for several South African television ads including: Jet South Africa, Vodacom Soccer Dance advert and a Pepsi advert in Beirut, Lebanon. David is one of the principal creators and choreographers of African Footprint, now in its 9th year. David would like to thank Jappie Phungo, Isabell Doll, Debbie Rakusin and Adel Blank - people he has worked with and whom he regards as his teachers and great choreographers.
 

DAVID MATAMELA
Choreographer


DAVE POLLECUTT
(deceased)
Music/Lyrics
 

Dave Pollecutt had been a professional musician for over 40 years before his sudden death in October 2001. As a composer, arranger and music producer, his talents encompassed many different areas in the world of entertainment. Dave composed the original score of African Footprint, adding this show to a list of impressive credits. The writing of advertising jingles also brought him accolades and awards including the International Winston Cigarette Commercial. His talents are sadly missed in the South African Music and Theatre Industry!

 


DON MATTERA
Poetry
 

Dr Don Mattera is an internationally renowned South African poet and author, well known for his acts of compassion and caring for the lesser privileged. His numerous awards include a Doctorate of Literature (PhD) (Honoris Causa) from the University of Natal, 2001. In 1986, both the Steve Biko Prize and the Kurt Tucholsky Prize were awarded to him in Sweden. In 1997 he received the Peace Award from the United Nations World Health Organisation’s Centre for Violence and Injury Prevention in collaboration with UNISA. Mattera was named Ambassador for Peace in Kenya for his South African and international stand for peace in Palestine and the State of Israel. He wrote the lyrics for the African Union Launch and for the Concert for Summit on Sustainable Development. He composed the poem that launched Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “Legends of Africa Award”.

Born in England, Anthony designed sets for musicals, plays, ballet and opera for over 50 years. His credits included AIDA and the original Sun City “EXTRAVAGANZA’s”. Productions for Richard Loring include A TOUCH OF WEBBER – A TASTE OF RICE. Mr Farmer won numerous awards including the “Vita” and “Nederburg” prize for Best Sets. He was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the SA Theatre Managers Association. He was involved in the original planning of the Globe Theatre as well as the recent re-designing of the Globe Theatre into the “Show Bar Theatre”, and re-designed the New “Intimate Supper Theatre” at the Pretoria State Theatre. He was truly part of South African Theatre History.

 


ANTHONY FARMER
(deceased)
Set Designer

 

A graduate of Tshwane University of Technology, Lindy Ann Joubert (Grindlay) quickly became recognized as one of South Africa’s leading theatrical designers. She designed over 50 repertoire productions for South Africa’s foremost Opera, Ballet and Musical companies, for Greek National Opera and Richard Loring Productions. Lindy moved to the United States with her husband Tom Grindlay in 2002. She has become an award winning event décor designer in the Washington DC area. In addition, she has maintained ties with South African Theatre, designing for Black Ties Opera Company, coordinating costumes for Hairspray, and as associate designer for Saturday Night Fever. Being a part of the African Footprint journey has been one of the most rewarding aspects of Lindy’s career.

 


LINDY GRINDLAY
Costume Design



DENIS HUTCHINSON
Original Lighting Designer
 

Has worked on shows ranging from experimental theatre via contemporary dance and musicals to ballet and opera. Career highlights include both scenic and lighting designs for Romance, Macbeth, Umoja (in London’s West End), Big Band Blast, Life x3, Amadeus, Three Viewings, Tell Me On a Sunday, Mojo, The King & I, A Handful Of Keys, Sweet Phoebe and The Four Seasons as well as lighting for African Footprint, Rosalinda, The Rocky Horror Show, Closer and a season of seven South African plays as part of Woza Africa at the Lincoln Festival in New York. His work with Free Flight and Vusa dance companies has also taken him to Germany, Switzerland and Australia while work as a theatre consultant has included the Monument Theatre in Grahamstown, the Arts Centre for the University of Johannesburg, the auditorium for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy at Henley-on-Klip and both the Globe and the new Lyric theatres at Gold Reef City.
 


DECLAN RANDALL
Lighting Design
 

Declan Randall has a B-Tech Degree in Stage Lighting Design and Arts Administration and over the years has designed the lighting for over 230 productions covering all facets of the performing arts, being nominated for several and winning 4 awards for his designs and won a scholarship to attend Broadway Lighting Master Class in New York City. In 2000 he started CONGO BLUE DESIGN one of South Africa's leading lighting design and consulting companies. Declan hosts weekend workshops on the art and craft of lighting design and has over the years served as resident lighting designer for State Theatre Dance Company, Black Ties Ensemble and Opera Africa. His most recent credits include AIDA, Saturday Night Fever and REWIND. He has just finished writing his first book on lighting design.

Ron is perhaps best known for his keyboard playing and recordings with the local group Clout that had the international smash hits Substitute, Save Me and Under Fire in the late 70's. Turning his attention to African styled music composition and production, Ron has since achieved 14 gold records as a music producer for South African artists such as Rebecca Malope, P.J. Powers and Hotline, while also producing advertising jingles and TV themes. In 2000 he collaborated as recording engineer and co-producer with the late great Dave Pollecutt in creating the CD music soundtrack for African Footprint which has since achieved gold status in South Africa. Ron is the driving force behind his own mood music production company Mathambo Music.

 


RON BRETTELL
Studio Production
 

For enquiries please contact:

Debbie Batzofin
email: afproduction@mweb.co.za
   
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