From a young age, Finn Newham Blake was mimicking the moves of the iconic Michael Jackson and sharing famous jokes by funnyman, Trevor Noah, with his family as the audience.
Now Finn will be showing off his talents to Fugard Theatre audiences in the role of Young Charlie in Kinky Boots.
Finn was born in Cape Town, having spent his first three years living in Oranjezicht before moving to Hout Bay. The Kronendal Primary School pupil is the eldest of three siblings and while he spent six months at the Kronendal Music Academy doing vocal lessons, he hasn’t performed in a formal production before.
His proud mother, Susan, said: “He hasn’t even had a role in a school play. This really is a case of a lot of raw talent and a bit of luck.
“This is the first time he’s ever been on stage. But we’ve always known that he’s got incredible singing and musical talent,” Ms Newham said.
“At every family gathering, usually after a bit of prodding, we’d all be entertained by his singing or doing a stand-up comedy routine, usually Trevor Noah.”
The eagerly awaited South African premiere of the multiple Tony award-winning musical Kinky Boots is on at the Fugard until October 27.
Ms Newham vividly recalls the Sunday evening she received the email informing her that Finn had got the part.
After she called him over to read the good news, she said: “The immediately ran outside bouncing around with excitement”.
“He then called his grandparents to tell them the news. Everyonewasexceptionally proud of him,” Ms Newham said.
For Finn, it’s a feeling he struggles to shake off. “It’s been very exciting. Not everyone gets to do this so I feel lucky that I do.”
Off stage, he enjoys playing
and watching rugby, and hanging out with friends and family at home.
“I love the experience of being in front of a live audience. I love seeing and hearing the audience reactions. I sometimes stand on stage and think that I can’t believe I’m actually having this experience,” Finn said.
He now has his sights set firmly on getting into more productions, particularly musicals.
Despite it being a small role in a big production, he said the demands of a life on stage could become tiring.
“It’s quite difficult because it’s tiring and there are many late nights. When I perform I get home after 11pm on a school night and have to wake up early the next day to go to school,” he explained.
In that regard Finn is lucky as he landed himself a shared role, which requires him to only perform two to three times a week.
“So it’s also been manageable overall,” Finn smiled.
Despite the late nights and busy schedule, said Ms Newham, seeing her son make his stage debut was all worth it in the end. “I am exceptionally proud of the incredible hard work, dedication and long hours that Finn has committed to the show.
“There is a lot of additional driving and late nights which impacts the whole family but this is minor compared the amazing experience of it all – also for the whole family. We are very proud of him. He’s a very unique little guy, quite an individual, so we’ve always known that whatever he landed up
doing would be slightly out of the ordinary. We just didn’t realise he’d be doing anything like this so young.”
* Kinky Boots will be performed at The Fugard Theatre until October 27, on Tuesdays to Saturdays, starting at 8pm with a matinee performance on Saturdays and on Sundays at 3pm. Tickets starting from R180 can be booked directly through The Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or through The Fugard Theatre’s website at www.thefugard.com