Odd artist of the month: Xavier Strydom

At 14 years old, South African Xavier Strydom is already making his mark in the performing arts scene. He is a young, enthusiastic performer with a remarkable voice taking on the world by storm. 

After winning both poetry and singing categories at the Tygerberg Eisteddfod in 2017, Xavier was the overall Junior National trophy winner at the Talent Africa Competition in 2018 where he placed first.  Following this, at the Talent America in New York, he placed second. 

Later in the year, Xavier’s success catapulted when he became the first actor to earn the coveted Judges Award, for his school, at the Annual Fraserburg Logan Toneelfees where almost 50 schools competed. He was also privileged to perform at his school’s year-end function backed by a string orchestra and choir. Xavier was invited to be the guest artist at an NGO Care Centre’s year-end concert, which incited his love for outreach. 

Putting his love for theatre, music, dance and comedy to work, in the beginning of 2019, he played the role of Ratony in the Playhouse Theatre’s Cinderella: The Pantomime. where he could put his singing and comedic abilities to good use. He also attended the SACOPA Nationals talent competition where he achieved first and second place in all of his singing categories and achieved 90% or above in all but one. This was followed by his first lead role as Ginger in the Playhouse Theatre’s Adventures of the Gingerbread Man.

Xavier stepped onto the professional stage when he was cast as Bruce in Matilda the Musical’s international tour in China. Rehearsals started in the second half of 2019 and he had his debut in November in Wuhan, China. He finished his run in Nanjing in January 2020 and returned to South Africa before Covid-19 struck. Like the rest of the world, he spent most of 2020 in lockdown, but took part and secured item wins for poetry and unprepared reading at the Western Cape Eisteddfod, performed in his school’s streamed year-end concert and took the stage to great acclaim in his first open air concert.

2021 started with a bang as Xavier secured roles in two productions. In June he completed a run at the Drostdy Theatre of Little Shop of Horrors and in July he has a lead role in the Playhouse Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland, directed by Winston Gelderblom.

Outside of his immensely impressive career, Xavier plays the piano, guitar and tuba. He loves a wide variety of music. He is in the school choir and band. He enjoys a variety of sports such as swimming, soccer, rugby, cricket and squash. He enjoys gaming, and broadening his intellectual skills through his love for reading. Language, Mathematics and History are his favourite school subjects. 

Xavier’s journey can be followed on his official Instagram account @XavStraightup.