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Friday, May 1, 2009


Sea World dolphins ready to blow audiences away at Shaka Marine World.

Move over Flipper, Keiko and crew … the Sea World dolphins are ready to blow you away.

A world-class team has been assembled by uShaka Marine World to create a brand new show that blends the unique performance skills of its dolphins with a powerful story and music.

Produced by the internationally-acclaimed Nicholas Ellenbogen - in collaboration with composer Dave Ornellas and Sea World Dolphinarium curator Gabby Harris - Shaka’s Tears traces King Shaka’s changing attitude to the sea and its amazing creatures. From viewing dolphins as a source of food Shaka, with the aid of the incredible Sea World dolphins, slowly changes his attitude to our oceans and encourages audiences to do the same.

Ellenbogen’s return to Durban after an absence of 18 years was engineered by the Sea World team who were excited about using his vast experience in the field of environmental theatre. As artistic director of drama at the Playhouse he founded the trailblazing Loft Theatre Company in the 80s. His Theatre for Africa, founded with actress Liz Szymczak, is in demand all over the world. Last year it performed in Nepal, England and Spain.

Ellenbogen and Szymczak were tasked with bringing an exciting and evolving element to the daily dolphin shows at uShaka, while also focusing on the importance of marine conservation. For several months, the dolphin trainers have committed themselves to a theatre skills development programme led by Szymczak, while the dolphins have enjoyed learning their new routines.

The powerful soundtrack which has been composed for the show was created by South African rock legend Dave Ornellas and includes vocals by Durban’s own Brenda Radloff. Ornellas, currently working between South Africa, America and Sweden, jumped at the opportunity to come to Durban and work with the dolphins and his old friend, Ellenbogen.

The film inserts on the big screen created by Darrol Williams include extraordinary footage of the birth of the new Sea World dolphin Khethiwe last November, as well as KZN’s sardine run where wild dolphins are seen having a feast.

Opening on May 9 at 13h00, Shaka’s Tears is an enchanting family show that will enthral locals and tourists. For more information call uShaka Marine World on 031 328 8000.