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Saturday, September 8, 2018


(Pic by Barry Meehan)

Mesmerising and powerful performance from Joseph Clark. (Review by Caroline Smart)

It’s so good to see Joseph Clark back here in Durban, performing in The Music of Queen at the Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya. An absolute powerhouse, he is still as dynamic and mesmerising as when I last saw him performing in Durban.

He was born and raised in Texas, US, and I followed his progress from when he first came to Durban to work with the NAPAC Ballet Company. From there, he expanded his skills to singing and acting and was soon in high demand as an all-round performer. Durban theatre audiences will never forget Queen At The Opera during the 90’s.

Clark has been the lead vocalist with the NNO (Noord Nederlands Orkest), since 2009, performing throughout the Netherlands, including the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. This production will return to The Netherlands in November.

Opening the show in an eye-catching pair of black and white patterned trousers, a sparkling T-shirt and a black casual jacket, he commands the stage from the first few notes and the audience falls under his spell immediately.

Queen’s lyrics are timeless and uniquely drawn. They resonate today as strongly as they did when the original group performed them.

As Clark explained, it would be impossible to do all Queen’s songs in one show, but the ones chosen included favourites such as Another One Bites The Dust, I Want To Break Free, Killer Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls, Who Wants to Live Forever, Under Pressure and Bohemian Rhapsody.

The show includes songs that Queen or any other Queen tribute band are not doing now and Clark acknowledges the enjoyment of being able to explore these songs. Mainly of them can only be heard on CDs.

Highlights for me on the quieter side were the poignant You Take My Breath Away as well as the achingly beautiful and soul-searching Too Much Love Will Kill You. Another beautiful number was In My Defence, the last number Freddie Mercury sang on stage.

Clark’s excellent dramatic and movement skills add to the thrills of the show, as seen in Bicycle Race and the energy behind We Are The Champions could nearly have driven a small power station!

Sometimes seated at the keyboard, he is supported by his excellent band of top local and international musicians. Axe Lourens (lead guitars/vocals); Richard Brokensha (guitar/vocals); Kyle Petersen (piano/keyboards/keytar/vocals); Trevor Donjeany (bass) and Marlon Witbooi (drums) - each one is a stand-out whether as an instrumentalist, drummer or singer. Their group pieces, performed without Clark, allowed them to showcase their considerable individual talents.

The sound was excellent and the lighting superb as was the dazzling display of moving lights from the LED curtain backdrop.

Joseph Clark – The Music of Queen has only two more shows: tonight (Saturday) at 20h00 and tomorrow (Sunday) at 14h00 at Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom. Ticket R180 and bookings can be made through Rockwood Theatre at or call their box office on 031 161 0000 or e-mail

Don’t miss it! – Caroline Smart