Q&A with Regina Malan

Regina Malan has been a busy girl. She is starring in Public City, The Musical, but she has also put on the hat of Musical Director for the first time. Here is what Regina has to say about her latest project.

Q1: Is this an original musical?

The music is not original, but the script is and was inspired by the events and trial of Oscar Pistorius. Director/writer/creator Christie Hollander chose well-known music such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the script follows a game show concept set in the future, which  creates social commentary on what the media does to those in the limelight. The characters on trial have to sing for their lives and the media then feeds the public what they want them to see. It shows how people have opinions on famous people, even when they don’t even know them. They first performed Public City, The Musical in 2013 as part of Christie’s final year piece at UCT. It was also an a cappella musical, but with six cast members instead of five. The lead character was also male. This version centers around a female character and the themes of feminism, spousal abuse and the idea that women can also kill their partners, are shown throughout the show.

Q2: Who do you play and which character do you enjoy the most?

I play the meanest lawyer in town, called Vicky Florrick and the strong opinionated Afrikaner man, Jocko Brightson. I have to say they are both fun to play. They are so different and I have to change my entire physicality to portray Jocko and talk in a biting tone for Vicky, but at the end of the day, I have to choose Vicky. She is tough, a force to be reckoned with and has a very specific walk, which I love doing.

Q3: How have you found working as a musical director?

It has been a challenge, but in the best of ways. I studied Classical music, so arranging music is not difficult, but I had to keep in mind that we are a cappella. That becomes tricky when you have five people singing different harmonies and you are moving around. Also I had to jump between performer and musical director every now and then, so that was new to me. I have grown so much as a performer because of it and I’m ever grateful to Christie for trusting me with her show.

Q4: It sounds like theirs a lot of audience participation. How does the audience get involved with the musical?

Oh yes. It is one of my favourite things about this show and it also makes it very unique. The audience or the public decides what they want by voting via their phones. Guilty or Innocent. Our multitalented cast Lauren Steyn, Luvo Tamba, Dean de Klerk, Sibu Mxosana and I then get to see what they, the public, decide is the truth. It gives the show a very personal touch and our director has been so brilliant in that regard in knowing that social media is so part of our daily lives, it has to be incorporated into theatre. It took so much thought to create this show and the concept has really caught the eye of the public, because our opening night and two other nights are already sold out. We can’t wait to start the run.

The show runs at the Alexander Bar until 21 April and you can book tickets here.

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