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Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Rhumbelow Theatre’s Westville venue well and truly launched. (Review by Keith Millar)

At a time when sustainable theatre in Durban is a challenge, there is at least one success story - and that is the Rhumbelow Theatre. Offering top class and uncomplicated supper theatre, it opened its doors at the humble MOTH’s Rhumbelow Shellhole in Umbilo in 2001.

Some 14 months ago Rhumbelow Pietermaritzburg was introduced with monthly performances been staged at the Allan Wilson Shellhole. Then on Sunday, highway residents were excited to see the launch, at the Westville Country Club, of the Rhumbelow Westville.

The driving force behind the Rhumbelow brand is the irrepressible theatre impresario Roland Stansell, and the production he chose for the launch was The Swinging Sixties. This fast-moving rip-roaring show features veteran rocker Dave Monks and Durban’s sweetheart Marian Loudon.

Going down memory lane, the show featured fabulous 60’s music from artists such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cliff Richards, The Shadows, Dusty Springfield, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, The Animals, Credence Clearwater Revival, Sony and Cher, The BeeGees, Tom Jones and many more.

Some of the memorable songs heard included (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Da Do Ran Ran, All My Loving, My Boy Lollipop, I’m a Believer, Young Ones, Summer Holiday, House of the Rising Son, These Boots Were Made For Walking, Proud Mary, Let’s Twist Again and Great Balls of Fire.

Dave Monks contributed guitar instrumentals of The Shadows’ Mustang and Apache.

The vivacious Marian Loudon was on the top of her form for this show. She showed oodles of charisma and had the audience in the palm of her hand. All of the music seemed to fit perfectly in her range and she gave a vocal performance of note.

One thing is certain, the people of Westville loved the show. They seemed to know all the words to the songs and sang along with gusto. There was also plenty of foot-stomping, clapping and dancing in the aisles. It was a real boisterous rock and roll party.

The only negatives for me were the backtracks which were a bit karaoke like, and Monk’s performance as he appeared to struggle both vocally and with his guitar work.

Unlike the other Rhumbelow venues which operate on a bring-your-own-food basis, the Westville Country Club offers a selection of meals, such as Hunters Stew, Chicken Pasta, Fish and Chips and a Vegetable Lasagne, for R50.

All the meals looked appetising and my Chicken Pasta was very pleasant. Starters and sweets are also available.

Rhumbelow Westville has been well and truly launched, and highway residents now have the opportunity of seeing top acts from Durban and beyond in their own area. Look out over the next few months for shows such as the Blarney Brothers, Michael Naiker and The Reals with their Rodriguez tribute.

Tickets R120 pp (R100 for pensioners and block bookings of 8 or more). Show tickets are cash, Computicket or EFT only. Booking is essential. Secure parking available. (No alcohol or food may be brought on to the premises)

Book at Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636 or email: – Keith Millar