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Saturday, November 29, 2008


(Pic: Clockwise: Brian Payne, Ruan Geldenhuys, Kerry Lee McKibbin; Aaron Nel; Natasha Lynn and Shanthan)

Maurice Kort and Caroline Smart provide a joint review of Dockyard’s festive season production.

Dockyard Theatre’s Stuart Mey has an ideal hit show for the festive season with bright new young talent. Let’s Get This Party Started sparkles from the start with the new singing talents of Natasha Lynn, Ruan Geldenhuys and Kerry Lee McKibbin arising from the recent So You Think You Can Sing competition. They are joined by Shanthan (back home after appearing in Europe and the United Kingdom) in the rousing opening number, the Alice Cooper hit School's Out, appropriately dressed in colourful school uniforms.

The party then really gets started with the talented singers moving from one hit song to the next, individually or together, with the addition of Bryan Payne and Aaron Nel. He is part of the Dockyard Showband (on guitar) with Musa Mtetwa, on keyboards (also as Assistant Musical Director), Llewellyn Chetty (on bass guitar) and Brenton Govender (on drums). The singers switch from one colourful costume to the next throughout the show and there is indeed never a dull moment. They look so good - mind you, they'd look good even if they were dressed in sacks!! Although there is no-one credited with the choreography, the singers all move superbly and there is very nifty footwork, particularly by Shanthan.

Included in the programme are songs of Mika (Grace Kelly), Duffy (Mercy), Amy Winehouse (Valerie), Gypsy Kings/Bob Sinclair (ala “Calypso Kings” - Bamboleo, Volare, Love Generation), Justin Timberlake (Senorita), George Michael (Faith), Scissor Sisters (I Don't Feel Like Dancing), and many, many more.

Particularly enjoyable was the exuberant Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Natasha Lynn and Kerry Lee McKibbin, the very humorously performed Little Red Riding Hood by Bryan Payne, the Meatloaf hit I Would Do Anything for Love by Aaron Nel and several songs from Grease and The Rocky Horror Show (Time Warp, Sweet Transvestite). Bryan Payne shone as Frank-n-Furter with Ruan Geldenhuys and Shanthan showing their acting talents in the roles of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss in the fun enactment of the scene from the show suitably joined by the two ladies in the cast as Magenta and Columbia

Linking the songs are delightful comic performances by Bryan Payne in many guises, starting with the school teacher chasing the noisy school boys off the stage after School's Out, to a Life Guard (the patter of which tended to drag slightly), a Pastor of the Church of Living Theatre (containing much very topical matter and it might be noted that many a true word is spoken in jest), Santa Claws (sic, see the show and you'll understand) which is most appropriate for a show during this time of the year.

The whole show incorporates many novel ideas, for example the last scene before the interval and the announcement of the interval. These lift the evening from being merely a compilation of several hit songs. The result is a well-balanced programme of modern songs and well-known oldies, for which full credit must go to the producer/director Stuart Mey; musical director Bruce Boome; sound technician Wayde Sparks, and the lighting designer David Dyer.

The menu, food and service are up to the Dockyard Supper Theatre's usual high standard. For starters on offer are Chicken Livers Peri Peri, Fish Cakes or Crumbed Mushrooms; for mains one has a choice of Grilled Sirloin Steak (which melted in the mouth), Grilled Quarter Chicken, Calamari Strips or Vegetarian Pot Pie and for desserts,one can be tempted by Chocolate Mousse, Fruit Salad & Ice Cream or Kahlua Dom Pedro. – Maurice Kort

artSMart’s Editor Caroline Smart was only able to see the show some time after it had opened and here are her comments:

Maurice Kort has covered the show most efficiently and I agree with all his sentiments. I would just like to add my own contribution.

What a pleasure it is to see such a line-up of talented new faces in this show which is “party-time” – and loud! - from the word go, but this is what the Dockyard year-end audiences seem to want. I was particularly impressed with Natasha Lynn who gave a strong and focused performance. It was also good to see Shanthan back on the Durban theatre circuit again.

In staging his productions, Stuart Mey has come a long way since his early days down at the first Dockyard venue at the harbour entrance. Let’s Get This Party Started is performed on a well-designed stage area backed by a large art deco image of a jukebox. It’s a small but very tight band and the musicians are well-placed to offer the maximum of performance space.

I chose the Fish Cakes – mainly because they’d run out of mushrooms and, despite my normal antipathy to fish, found them very appetising - apparently, they’re made from Stuart’s mum’s recipe. My main choice was Calamari Strips which was very enjoyable. – Caroline Smart

Tickets range from R160 to R210 with varying meal options available and there are matinee and evening shows. In addition, there is a special R70 ticket price for shows on Tuesdays and Sundays with a special Burger menu. Dockyard Theatre is now situated at Musgrave Centre. For queries or bookings contact Mel on 031 201 9147 or Strictly Tickets or visit