Tomely lands a lead role

Eurika van Wyk who plays Chairy Barnum dances with Tomley van Vuuren who portrays PT Barnum during their practice sessions.

Partially-sighted Performing Arts student at Northlink College’s Tygerberg Campus, Tomely van Vuuren, will take to the boards in Barnum the Circus Musical by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart at the Baxter Theatre at the end of October.

Tomely is a former pupil at the Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester, is overjoyed to have been cast as the lead role in the play and studies Performing Arts at Northlink College Tygerberg Campus after he won a scholarship of R72 000 through a competition run by the college in 2016.

“When I am on stage I feel comfortable, complete and content, but when I am in a public space I sometimes feel lost,” says the young actor

He adds that playing the lead role is such a great honour and as a result he is constantly trying harder and doing more to be the best at his craft while not losing sight of his dream to one day act and direct television shows such as 7de Laan or Isidingo.

“Acting is my first love and I do not let my partial blindness determine my future. My heart is in theatre and the performing arts. I want nothing else but to excel in my gift.”

The story of Barnum is about a man who charmed his way into the hearts of the American people with his collection of freakish people on display.

From the world’s tallest to the world’s smallest were put through their paces in his museum.

He eventually employed the Swedish Opera singer, Jenni Lind (Zandre Messeur). This lead to the demise of his marriage to wife Chairy portrayed by Eurika Van Wyk. Finally, when his museum burnt down, Barnum joined the Circus of James A. Bailey (Jesse Pretorius) to form the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus. The musical promises to be high energy and you can expect to hear some of your favourite vintage songs such as Come Follow the Band and The Colors of my Life. Add the hit single and Oscar nominated This is Me from the movie The World’s Greatest Showman to the mix and you are promised a not-to-be-missed spectacle.

Barnum will be at the Baxter from Wednesday October 31 until Saturday November 3.