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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Aaron Nel and Shanthan Pillay offer well-compiled programme with good harmonies. (Review by Maurice Kort)

Fans of the music of Simon and Garfunkel, and there must be many of you, take note of the new show produced by Vintage Productions at the Stirling Theatre, the brainchild of the brothers Aaron and Johan Nel who grew up with their music and are big fans. If you are of a newer generation and are unfamiliar with their music, although you must know their evergreens such as Bridge over Troubled Water; The Sound of Silence; Mrs Robinson; Scarborough Fair; Bye Bye, Love and El Condor Pasa come along anyway to be well entertained.

Although the show was billed to star Aaron and Johan Nel, the latter has been replaced by Shanthan Pillay. They both play and sing very well together. Their harmonising is excellent and a treat to experience. The show nicely avoids being static and a standard Sunday guitar evening at a jazz club by having an attractive set, well used with much movement, the occasional costume changes and very good lighting effects. It is therefore a pity that the opening number was rather badly lit. It could have done with more lighting such as good use of spots as done later and often during the show, sometimes better than others. Keeping it in the family, Andrea Nel (married to Aaron) handled the lighting well.

The backdrops of the flags of the United States of America are most suitable for the opening number America as are the candles and priestly robes of the two for A Church is Burning which opens the second act, after a moving voice-over of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream. In total, 23 songs are performed and the audience is encouraged to join in at various times with singing, clapping hands or finger snapping and even to getting onto their feet to boogie - all of which they certainly did with alacrity. They certainly enjoyed the show, and what was there not to enjoy?

Some of the other songs in the well compiled programme you can expect to enjoy, and which I certainly did, are Kathy’s Song; A Most Peculiar Man; Homeward Bound; At the Zoo; Feelin’ Groovy; The Only Livin’ Boy in NY; and Cecelia.

Memoirs: The Music of Simon & Garfunkel can be seen at the Stirling Theatre at the Italian Club, 82 Fairway Durban North, on May 20 and 21 at 20h00 as well as on May 22 at 15h00. Tickets R80pp booked through Marion on 076 786 1127 or e-mail

Bring along your own picnic/snacks or take advantage of the menu offered by the Italian Club: a Pizza Slice (Margherita with ham or with cheese and mushrooms) at R10; Pannini (Proscuito, Mortadella, Salame or Mozzarella) at R20 or Toasted Sandwiches (cheese & tomato, cheese & ham, or all three) at R15. For an extra R80 on the Sunday, you can enjoy a two course Italian Club lunch before the show. There is a full cash bar at the Club (no credit card facilities). - Maurice Kort