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Nataniel’s COMBAT hits the big screen

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 18 January 2012

COMBAT MARKS A FIRST FOR A SOUTH AFRICAN STAGE PRODUCTION Nataniël’s theatre sensation: COMBAT hits the big screen for 7 days only.

Acclaimed South African singer, songwriter and entertainer Nataniël appears on the big screen for the first time ever in COMBAT, an up-tempo show which investigates and celebrates the uniform. The film opens on 3 February and will play for one week only selected at Ster Kinekor and Nu Metro cinemas throughout South Africa. For centuries people have been feared or admired for their uniforms – from emperors to soldiers to church leaders, to police, doctors, nurses, servants, butlers, chauffeurs, firemen and sailors. COMBAT looks at power and the various ways it’s clothed. 

The stage show originally played at Emperor’s Palace in the first quarter of 2011, where it was a sell-out success. COMBAT followed on Nataniël’s previous two “big C’s”, Coronation and Cathedral, with all three shows examining people’s obsession with power. COMBAT is the 11 the production Nataniël created exclusively for the Theatre of Marcellus stage at Emperors Palace.

Since 2000 Nataniël has made his six-week run at Emperors Palace his biggest and most lavish in terms of costume and set design on his annual tour schedule. Very few fans outside Gauteng have had the opportunity to experience Nataniël’s creative genius as presented in these massive stage productions.

COMBAT is only the second live show filmed in Nataniël’s illustrious career spanning more than 60 original stage productions. The show was captured on the latest digital filming technology from Sony by the Irene based production company Holistic Circus, the same team that filmed his 2010 Cathedral production. Cathedral was released nationally on DVD to great critical acclaim, garnering a SAMA 2011 nomination as Best Global Chart DVD. Following on the current global trend to capture and transpose stage productions to wider screen audiences, COMBAT will be the first ever South African production to receive a national cinematic distribution deal from Ster-Kinekor and Nu-Metro.

“It’s a coup for us to be able to bring such a popular entertainer to the big screen,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “Because the stage show was such a success, the film is likely to attract Nataniël’s significant following. It’s a spectacular show, from the performances to the costumes and set design.” “It was Mark Twain who said „clothes make the man‟” says Nataniël. “COMBAT looks at what power does to people and how the world revolves around nonsense fuelled mainly by old, really unattractive men throughout history. I don‟t think there has ever been an attractive leader since Henry VIII.

COMBAT is about how people who shouldn‟t even be allowed out into the street acquire power simply because of a uniform.” Through comedy, fantasy, satire, monologues in both English and Afrikaans, and a collection of original songs, Nataniël takes a look at uniforms, old and new: the control, the cruelty, corruption, sexual attraction, beauty, temptation and fascination. From ancient Romans to Third World dictators, from the corporate world to the strip club, nothing seems to make a greater impact than the appearance of a uniform, and this is what he explores in-depth in COMBAT. “There’s lots of rock and very modern pop,” he says.

“You can‟t put soldiers in a row and then sing a ballad or play a waltz,” he says. An all-male show, Combat highlights the enigmatic Nataniël’s particular brand of storytelling which skilfully combines pathos and humour. He is renowned for surrounding himself with competent and good-looking people. His cast includes Dihan Slabbert, Ignatius van Heerden, Martin van Heerden, Nicolaas Swart, Charl du Plessis (keyboards), Juan Oosthuizen (guitar), Werner Spies (bass) and Hugo Radyn (drums). “Throughout the ages, we have feared the uniform, whether religious or political, worn by police of traffic cops, we are all intimidated by it,” says Nataniël. But we also find the uniform incredibly sexy. In magazines, in strip joints, the favourite fantasy is the uniform – worn by the policeman, the fire man or the sailor. Jean Paul Gautier bases all his advertisements on sexy sailors – it still fascinates us.” Floris Louw works on all Nataniël’s costumes, and is known for always doing an excellent job. In COMBAT, he has outdone himself with a stunning range of re-imagined uniforms, and more sequins, beading and crystals than ever before.

COMBAT is set to subvert the familiar emblems of power and interrogate the stereotypes in a spectacle that is pure entertainment. “This is a show about how we have learned to use the rules and techniques of combat and apply them in our work, in our social lives, in bed, in the way we bring up our children and everything else we do,” he says. Tired of everyone going on about Lady Gaga’s costumes, Nataniël holds nothing back in COMBAT, even though it means he has to go through more than 20 wardrobe changes. He even finds a way of getting into and out of a costume made entirely of gold metal. “I have been doing what Gaga is doing now for more than 20 years, which made me a freak back then,” he says. “I‟ve toned down over the years. Now, with this show, I will show her. If she wants to wear a building, I can do so too. I literally wear constructions,” Nataniël says.

Keep updated on the Nataniel facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nataniël-Movie-COMBAT

 

For Press kits, interviews, stills and related queries contact:
david alex Wilson
Mad Moth Communications
Cell: 27 83 629 2587
For Indigenous Film Distribution
Bianca Miles
Head of Marketing and PR
Cell: 27 84 740 2418