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Saturday, December 7, 2013


(The splendid Gambit!)

Plenty of sparkle on offer, adding glitz and glamour to the festive celebration. (Review by Keith Millar)

Durban’s erratic weather ensured that there were no stars to be seen in the sky last night. However, there was plenty of sparkle on offer as some of our favourite local artists took to the stage at the annual Dolphins By Starlight production at uShaka Marine World.

Adding glitz and glamour to the festive celebration were singing stars such as Marion Loudon, Lauren Laing, Clive Gumede, Samantha Landers, Lelo Zondi, Jonathan Johansen and Brendan Mendez. They were backed by a superb 12-piece orchestra led by Shem Mahabeer.

Billed as a journey through time, the show features everything from oldies like Baby, It’s Cold Outside to present day songs such as Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe. There was also a Christmas Carol sing-a-long to jazzed up versions of carols such as Come all Ye Faithful and Hark The Herald Angels Sing.

Special moments included a young Julia Sutton singing I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas, and six little ballet dancers in tutus joined Lauren Laing in a performance of All I Want For Christmas Is You while “snow” fell from the roof of the grandstand.

Also putting in an appearance were the uShaka mascots, the Ocean Warriors. Slippy the Seal, Rusty the Penguin, Raggy the Shark and Splashy the Dolphin. They showed off some slick moves and footwork as they danced to different versions of Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas.

However, the biggest cheers and the most excitement was saved for the performances by the magnificent super star dolphins. Featuring first the queens of the pool, Afrika, Thombi, Khanya and Zulu, and followed by the showmen Kelpie, Jula, Khwezi and Ingelosi they jumped flipped and gamboled with perfect symmetry and grace.

A highlight was when a trainer along with her dolphin performed a graceful pas de deux in the pool to the strains of the beautiful Ava Maria.

The show stopper of the night was undoubtedly the wonderful Gambit. He is the biggest bottlenose dolphin in captivity in the world and has been performing for 41 years. He had the audience on their feet with his regal and stylish performance.

The entertainment for the evening was brought to a close with a splendid rendition of Auld Lang Syne by a lone piper.

Dolphins By Starlight is directed by Wayne Scott who also acts as the host. Assistant director is Charon Williams Ross while choreography is by Shelley Haggard and the musical director is Shem Mahabeer.

The show will be on at uShaka Marine World from December 6, to 8 and again from December 13 to 15 at 19h00. Tickets R135 (R110 children under 13). Booking is at Computicket or through uShaka ticketing on 031 328 8000. – Keith Millar