Anthony “MO” Marais
Born and educated in Cape Town, South Africa, Mo Marais heads up Stunt Network, a specialist company that focuses on stunt work for film and television. One of his most notable achievements was co – coordinating the 2000 Fox Sports TV commercial that garnered a Gold Award at Cannes in the same year.
In 1975, Mo joined Keith Andersons’ YMCA Circus School, “Circus Osler”. There he trained in the arts of flying trapeze, general acrobatic and circus skills. The circus school students traveled extensively, performing for thousands of people across the country. The Osler students were also the focus of Ashley Lazarus’s feature, “Once Apon a Circus” which explored the antics of kids joining the circus and living out there dreams. ”One of the highlights of my time spent at the circus school was the first Cape Town Festival, during which we performed on a trapeze rig suspended between two buildings on Adderly Street. The rig was seven stories high and it was great performing above people eating and drinking below.”
At age 16, Mo was chosen a one of thirteen young kids to work professionally in Europe. The troupe became known as the Star Lords and performed in the U.K, Denmark and France for one year before returning to South Africa. The troupe also toured the USA during 1983. Mo later joined Circus Triberti in Italy where he worked for 6 months.
Returning to South Africa, Mo teamed up with Keith Anderson once more to experiment with a new concept in flying trapeze. The troupe toured the USA for two years, 1987/88, where Mo performed the triple summersault daily and with an outstanding success rate. The new look flying act was later snapped up by the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. Mo later took this troupe to the Far East, where they performed for a year.
1985 – Turning his hand to film, Mo assisted Keith Anderson in training the Upside Down People for “King Solomon’s Mines” starring Richard Chamberlain. Together with Anderson, Mo also did stunt and aerial co-ordination for the feature films “Survivor” and “My African Adventure” with Dom Delouise.
In 1997, Mo was approached to oversee stunts and acrobatics on the television series, “The Adventures of Sinbad”. During this period he was also asked to co-ordinate stunts on the new and revived British T.V. series “The Professionals” being filmed in and around Cape Town
To date Mo has been involved in more than 80 Features and hundreds of Commercials in all aspects of the stunt and special effect environments.
Born in Rivonia, South Africa on 30 September, 1977 and educated at the Waldorf School in Constantia, Cape Town, Leander Lacey is now in a partnership with Stunt Network. He has been working with the company since 2001 as a stunt performer, rigger, assistant coordinator and coordinator.
Whilst at school, Leander attended The College of Magic for 6 years, performing magic and juggling for parties, corporate functions and in shopping centres to help fund later studies in Organizational Psychology at the University of Cape Town.
A passion for flying trapeze began at the age of 13, which led to him performing in Keith Anderson’s Little Peoples’ Circus at the V&A Waterfront in 1993. The connections made during this show gave Leander the chance of joining a circus extravaganza show, Baletsatsi in Sun City, where extensive training enabled him to show off his skills and talent in a variety of acts that included trampoline, stilts, Russian swing, poles, pyramids and flying trapeze.
Leander returned to continue his studying at UCT and at the same time trained and performed with the Zip Zap Circus.
In 2000, he started a new sport, street luge and competed in his first race, the Red Bull Downhill Extreme in Cape Town. Leander won the 2002 Classic Luge World Championships in Austria and the Street Luge World Championships in Germany in 2004. He also won the Swiss Championships, European Championships and the Red Bull Streets of San Francisco Big Air Competition by ramping his street luge 82 feet.
At the same time calls to do stunts in TV & Film Commercials started to come in and his first major stunt was a spectacular 5-storey fall through a glass window. Eventually this line of work took over from studying and magic performances, presenting the opportunity to become a fulltime stunt performer and coordinator with Stunt Network.
All of the rigging and flying trapeze training landed Leander the South African made movie production, The Flyer, doubling the lead actor to perform the legendary and difficult triple summersault.
Other dare devil and adrenaline seeking hobbies are, climbing, scuba diving, skydiving and access rigging. In 2005 Leander started base jumping and in 2006 went to Russia for extensive skydiving and base jumping. This sport took him to Namibia, Norway, Switzerland and Italy in both 2007 & 2008, while he continues to jump from wherever he can in and around Cape Town.
In 2008 Leander made a successful return to the World Cup Circuit for street luge racing and won the World Series.