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Sunday, August 11, 2013


(Take 5: Haylea Hounsome, Chloe Clark, Shelley McLean, Tory Du Plessis and Tammy Saville)

Glamorous group is as easy to look at as to listen to. (Review by Keith Millar)

August is designated as woman’s month. So it is entirely appropriate that the Rhumbelow Theatre’s current offering is the all-female musical ensemble, Take Five.

Formed by well-known Durban singer and music teacher, Shelly McLean, the group also features the singing talents of Tory Du Plessis, Tammy Saville, Haylea Hounsome and Chloe Clark.

Each girl is very talented in her own right but together they are sensational. They sing tight harmony arrangements of an eclectic range of music which includes contemporary hits, jazz standards, popular musical theatre tunes and even a touch of classics.

They take to the stage looking very glamorous in evening dresses, which are changed quite often. They are as easy to look at as they are to listen to.

As a singing group they have an impressive vocal range. From the deep sultry tones of Tory Du Plessis to the sweet soprano of Haylea Hounsome. This allows them to do justice to most songs. The girls take turns in accompanying the ensemble on the piano and, on occasion, a guitar and djembe drums are also used as backing.

Included in the programme are songs from artists such as Elton John, Avril Lavigne, Adele, The Carpenters, Train and Tracy Chapman. An compilation of South African music includes Tula Baba, Ipitombi and Shakira’s soccer world cup song Waka Waka. My favourites were a duo by Shelly and Haylea of Ava Maria and the group’s clever arrangements of Somewhere over the Rainbow and Cindy Lauper’s True Colours.

However, this is not a tribute show in the sense that the ensemble performs cover versions of all this music. Each song is arranged to suit their talents and style, and the result is a distinct Take Five sound.

The quaint and rustic Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo was launched in July 2001. It is a friendly and welcoming venue which is expertly managed by Roland Stansell and his team. They have also recently opened a Rhumbelow Theatre in Pietermaritzburg. In the 12 years of its existence, the theatre has played an important role in staging many very successful cabaret and musical shows for Durban’s audiences. Take Five’s performance is another feather in the cap of this enterprising venture, as well as been a suitable tribute to woman’s month.

Performances of Take Five will take place next weekend on Friday and Saturday (August 16 and 17) at 20h00 and on Sunday (August 18) at 18h30. The venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnic dinner.

Tickets R100. Take along food picnic baskets and braais will be available. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Rhumbelow Theatre is situated in Cunningham Avenue off Bartle Road.

Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland on 031 205 7602 (h) or 082 499 8636, email or visit – Keith Millar