#MEX Music Exchange Interview South Africa

#MusicExchange: Tiaan Rautenbach plays Buddy in We Will Rock You

The brand-new production and major world tour of Queen and Ben Elton's multi-award-winning rock musical We Will Rock You is currently running at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town until Sunday, 4 June 2023 and thereafter continues in New Zealand before embarking on various territories abroad.
Image by Christiaan Kotze
Image by Christiaan Kotze

We Will Rock You is not a tribute show, nor does it tell the story of Queen or the legendary Freddie Mercury. Instead, We Will Rock You is a large full-scale new vision musical theatre production with its own storyline set to the music of Queen’s most popular hits.

The production features 24 of Queen’s hit songs including Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Killer Queen, and global favourites We are the Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody and of course, We Will Rock You.

The highly talented cast is a combination of established, well-known performers and fresh new talent.

I recently caught up with Tiaan Rautenbach, who plays the character of Buddy, and has played roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, Binnelanders and Aspoestertjie.

What is your purpose?

What is anybody's purpose? To make the best of this thing called life and have as much fun along the way as possible. Oh, and to play more ukulele.

What does music mean to you?

Everything! Whether I'm happy or sad, busy or bored, there's usually a song playing in the background or being sung by me.

My music is about…

Life, love and occasionally zombies.

What is your motto?

Just keep on keeping on.

Fame is about…

Honestly, don't know, don't care.

Retirement will happen when…

I physically cannot make it onto a stage or in front of a camera anymore.

I don't do…


I would love to co-write with…

Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French.

Where do you go for inspiration to create?

Usually my lounge.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

Getting paid to do something I truly love doing.

The song you must do during every show?

In We Will Rock You I only have one solo number, so, Those Were the Days of Our Lives.

Any funny moments on stage?

Too many to recount, but it usually entails something going wrong and making eye contact with the perpetrator.

My heroes are…

David Bowie, Tori Amos and Jennifer Saunders.

My style icon is…


Which living person do you admire most and why?

RuPaul for turning an obscure fringe form of art into a multi-million-dollar empire whilst spreading the message of love.

What is your most treasured possession?

My new iPad Pro.

It's your round, what are you drinking?

A margarita!

Dream gig to do?

I would love to do a big band show with a real big, big band.

What makes you stand out?

My awkward charm...?

Any nicknames?


If you were not a musician, what would you do?

Some form of visual art. Cartoonist or graphic novelist.

Pick five words to describe yourself?

Chilled. Musical. Creative. Lazy and Funny.

Five must have songs on your Spotify playlist please

Life on Mars - David Bowie
Hey Jupiter - Tori Amos
Glory Box - Portishead
I Got So High That I Saw Jesus - Noah & Miley Cyrus
The Ride - Amanda Palmer

Greatest movie ever made?

Natural Born Killers.

What book are you reading?

Liarmouth by John Waters.

What song changed your life?

Life On Mars? by David Bowie.

Who do you love?

My family.

What is your favorite word?


Top of your bucket list?

Always more travel!

Your greatest achievement?

Not sure if it's my greatest achievement, but I'm super proud of the series Blikskottel and Kompleks that I co-created and starred in with my best friends.

What do you complain about most often?

My arthritic knee.

What is your biggest fear?

Physical torture.

Happiness is…

Chilling with tunes and tv.

On stage, I tend to…

Feel at home.

The best life lesson you have learned?

It's amazing what you can do when you absolutely have to do it.

What has been your favorite journey so far?

I once spent a month in Berlin and I would go back there in a heartbeat.

Do you do charity work, and if you do – what do you do?

I don't, but I used to perform free gigs at old age homes when I was at school and I recently thought of starting up something like that again.

Wishes and dreams?

Just more of the same. I love the trajectory of my life and if things could keep going onward and upward, I'd be incredibly grateful.

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse
Let's do Biz