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Saturday, December 19, 2015


(Giles Taylor is in the role of Freddie Mercury)

Rip-roaring and memorable performance. (Review by Keith Millar)

Currently on at the Sibaya Casino is Showtime Australia’s first-rate tribute show,Queen – It’s a Kinda Magic – and it must be said that this production is a whole lotta magic.

For me Queen – It’s a Kinda Magic works on two levels. Firstly, as a theatrical tribute show it does a fantastic job in paying homage to what many regard to be the greatest rock band of all time. The music is played by four very accomplished and talented musicians who do a wonderful job in replicating the music of the legendary Queen.

Experienced English performer Giles Taylor is in the role of Freddie Mercury. He has all Mercury’s eccentric and arrogant stage moves down to a tee, and, while he does not have the same extraordinary vocal range, he manages most of the high notes with panache.

Queen guitarist Brain May is played by Australian Richie Baker. While he is not much of a lookalike his guitar work was outstanding, both during the songs and when he plays solo as a bridge between costume changes.

Drummer Kyle Thompson also from Australia gives a frenetic, almost manic, performance as Queens’s drummer Roger Taylor. His extended solo was mind-blowing.

The role bassist John Deacon is played by the rock solid and cheerful Steven Dennett who hails from Johannesburg.

Great attention to detail has been paid in re-creating Freddie Mercury’s outlandish costumes, as well as reproducing the lighting, sound and digital big screen visuals which were used during Queens’s concerts.

The show is all about the music. There is no contrived linking story, or biographical details, between songs, just full-on music. All the big hits are there. Try this for a sampling: It’s a Kinda Magic, Radio Gaga, Another One Bites The Dust, Killer Queen, Fat Bottom Girls, Save Me, Bicycle Race, A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Seven Seas of Rhye, Under Pressure, We Are The Champions, We Will Rock You, Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy and Bohemian Rhapsody.

The band may not sound exactly like the original - after all, who can expect to fully imitate Queen’s musical genius? - but they are about as close as you are going to get. The result is a rip-roaring and memorable performance.

The other level on which this production works is as a wild and wonderful rock and roll party. Durban’s rockers both young and old came out to play. Everyone knew all the words to all the songs and they sang, danced, swayed, gyrated, clapped and stomped along to everything. It was crazy, it was infectious and it was exciting and exhilarating.

Showtime Australia is billed as the king of world-class tribute shows. Judging by Queen – It’s a Kinda Magic, that billing is spot on.

If you would like grab your share of the magic get to the iZulu Theatre at the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment World by January 10 and join the party. Tickets R250 (R150 per child between the ages of 4 and 15) available at Computicket and the Sibaya Box Office. Groups of ten or more qualify for a 10% discount while Sharks season ticketholders qualify for a 20% discount for booking three days before the show starts.

For more information visit or follow Sibaya on or on Twitter @SibayaCasino – Keith Millar