national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, February 16, 2015


(Greg Baptie, Roland Stansell, Derek Pearce & Allan Quihampton)

Outrageous - in the best possible sense of the word. (Review by Keith Millar)

Outrageous - in the best possible sense – is the word which best describes the Family Players latest comedy drag show, Queens of the Opera: Valentine Is Such a Drag, which was staged at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo this weekend. Fabulously flamboyant costumes, huge extravagant wigs, over-the-top eyelashes and colourful glitzy makeup were the order of the day as this talented group kept their audience in hysterics as they mimed and gyrated to some wonderful show tunes of the past and present.

Joining the drag artists for this show were two very gifted Durban songstresses. Twelve year old Alaska Hilton sings like an angel, and is an angel to look at. Her age belies her talent and she performs with poise, maturity and confidence. Her mentor, Krystle Temmerman, is one of Durban’s most underrated singers. Blessed with a beautiful powerful voice and wide range, she is a joy to listen two.

Singing together - and separately - they blew the audience away with their performance of songs such as Don’t Cry for me Argentina, Love Changes Everything, Phantom of the Opera, Time To Say Goodbye, Any Dream Will Do and That’s All I Ask Of You.

The Family Players are an experienced group of drag artists consisting of Allan Quihampton, Derek Pearce, Greg Baptie, Roland Stansell and newcomer Graham Goodwin. They gave a deliciously camp performance as they minced their way through songs which included Rossini’s Humorous Duet for Two Cats, popularly known as the Meow Song, Memory from Cats, I Feel Pretty from West Side Story, Bonnie Tyler’s I Need a Hero, Where The Boys Are and Miss Subway 1952.

To keep things up to date, they also performed Let It Go from the Disney movie Frozen and last year’s hit, All about that Bass.

It is difficult to choose a favorite from a show in which all the artists performed with aplomb, and were consistently hilarious. But I, for one, will never look at Roland Stansell again without thinking of his performance as a height-challenged Freddie Mercury alongside Greg Baptie, as a pregnant Montserrat CaballĂ©, in Queen’s Barcelona. It was a comic performance of note.

Drag artists may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Durban has a team of consummate performers in The Family Players in this genre of entertainment. Their shows are always unadulterated and uncomplicated good fun. They are well worth seeing when the next opportunity arises.

Rhumbelow Theatre is situated in Cunningham Avenue off Bartle Road in Umbilo. For more information visit – Keith Millar