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Saturday, October 21, 2017

SOULFIRE AND FIREFLIES



(Samantha Peo. Photo Gavin Forrester)

Something different from the recent Rhumbelow diet of tribute shows, this cabaret-style production is sophisticated, intimate, sensitive and warmly entertaining. (Review by Keith Millar)

I think I may be just a little bit in love! That is the effect that the superb Samantha Peo and her beautiful show Soulfire and Fireflies, which can be seen this week-end at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo, has on her audience.

Something different from the recent Rhumbelow diet of tribute shows, this cabaret-style production is sophisticated, intimate, sensitive and warmly entertaining.

It is a description of life, love and loss, related through the medium of song, poetry, musings and personal observations.

On stage is South African musical theatre star, singer and dancer, Samantha Peo. Durban-born Peo has made a name for herself in Johannesburg in numerous musical theatre productions. This petite star has a voice of exceptional range on tone. She can be gentle and smooth, then raw, powerful and soulful, followed by smouldering, sultry sex appeal, and all with a crystal-clear delivery.

She is accompanied by the urbane Durban piano wiz Evan Roberts.

Together this duo weaves a magic spell over the audience which leaves them quite breathless at their synergy, and the overall quality of their performance.

And the remarkable thing is that they only got together earlier this week after Peo’s regular partner had to pull out of the show due to a family problem. There was the occasional small glitch which resulted from to their lack of rehearsal time together, but this consummate duo smile it all away with √©lan.

The show includes new and fresh arrangements of many well-known songs, all off which document the journey from the end of a relationship, through all the heartache and sorrow and finally towards self-acceptance and new love. It is a funny, poignant and very personal account of the emotions most of us have experienced at some point in our lifetimes.

The songs include Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, standards such as Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, Shirley Bassey’s Nobody Does It Like Me, Barbara Streisand’s Don’t Rain on my Parade, The Beatles Help – a beautiful arrangement, Michael Jackson’s Thriller Night and Billy Joel’s My Life.

Certainly, an eclectic choice of music. But all performed with mesmerising skill and charm by an artist Who is able to project alluring femininity and personality and hold her audience in the palm of her hand from beginning of her show, to the end.

Come on. Durban. it is time to wake up and support the Rhumbelow Theatre and the top class shows it presents, such as Soulfire and Fireflies.


Soulfire and Fireflies still has two more shows to go at the Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road Umbilo. Today, Saturday (October 21) at 20h00 and tomorrow, Sunday (October 22) at 18h30.

The venue opens 90 minutes before the show to allow patrons to enjoy a picnic meal. Braais will be available for those who wish to cook some meat. Limited secure parking available. Bar Available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises)

Tickets are R150 pp. Bookings can be made at Computicket or by contacting Roland at 082 499 8636 or email: roland@stansell.za.net or visit events.durbantheatre.com – Keith Millar

NB: There will be no afternoon show tomorrow (Sunday October 22) as scheduled due to the road closures of the Amashova race.