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Thursday, December 10, 2015


(Back: Sisi Mann, Clive Gumede, Samantha Landers with Lasandra Majola, ballerinas from Minette De Klerk Dance Academy, Michelle Bain and Kelpie the dolphin)

Dolphin show as loud and as proud and as filled with glitz, glamour and fun as years gone by. (Review by Keith Millar)

A regular feature of Durban’s Christmas festivities for several years now has been uShaka Marine World’s entertainment extravaganza, Dolphins By Starlight.

Called A Christmas Adventure, it is back this year as loud and as proud and as filled with glitz, glamour and fun as years gone by.

The action-packed and fast-moving show features a live band, fabulous singers, a 20 voice choir, acrobatic hip-hop dancers, ballet dancing, a breathtaking arial act, mischievous elves, a snow fall, the much-loved uShakaOcean Warrior mascots, Christmas Carol singing, Father Christmas himself and most importantly the stars of the show, the truly amazing and utterly captivating Sea World dolphins.

Surely enough entertainment to satisfy children and adults alike.

The musical content of the show is very good with featured singers this year being popular Durban artist Clive Gumede; Samantha Landers who was most recently seen in Country Girls at the Rhumbelow Theatre, and the very talented child star Lasandra Majola. All three impress with their charismatic and polished performances.

They were accompanied by the excellent Durban Gospel Choir, who also led the audience in the singing of Christmas songs and carols. Backing is provided by a four-piece band led by the accomplished Durban musical director, Evan Roberts.

The three excitable elves are played by Daisy Spencer, Jacobus van Heerden and Paz Genik. They pop up all over the show, getting up to mischief and leading the audience in song and dance. They also connect with Father Christmas in the North Pole via Skype. Father Christmas (played by Frank Graham) is projected onto the big screen and delivers an important environmental message to the audience.

A magical moment in the show is when a troupe of graceful Ballet dancers performs on the stage while snowflakes drift down onto the audience.

However, the undoubted stars of the show are the magnificent captive dolphins. Their first act featured four female dolphins and this was followed by a performance by three males. They showed a remarkable array of tricks, jumps and flips which had the audience gasping and shouting for more.

The boss, however, is without doubt the majestic and gracious old man of Sea World, Gambit. An acknowledged Ethekwini Living Legend, this beautiful animal has lived in captivity for over 40 years. He is the father of seven and grandfather of one of the dolphins born in captivity in Sea World.

Performing on his own his energy, nimbleness and presence in the pool is quite awe-inspiring and certainly belies his years.

Dolphins by Starlight: A Christmas adventure is on at UShaka Marine World until December 14. Shows are at 18h30 for 19h00 daily. Tickets R160 (R130 children) booked at Computicket and at uShaka ticketing or call 031 328 8000. – Keith Millar