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Saturday, January 25, 2020


(Frank Graham & Mim Erasmus)

Even if you aren’t of Scottish blood or have any Scottish links, you couldn’t fail to be highly entertained by this celebration of Robert Burns. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s is celebrating Burns Night - and all things Scottish – as a celebration of the life, music and poetry of the Bard of Scotland, Robert Burns, the author of many Scottish poem, songs and stories.

The event starts off with the Durban Regiment Pipe Band performing on the verandah of Tina’s Hotel (seating available) before the haggis is piped into the theatre venue. Audience members are then invited to help themselves to a piece. A member of our group pronounced it “very good”.

The show itself is presented by two legendary Durban performers – folk singer Miriam Erasmus and comedy specialist Frank Graham.

Even if you aren’t of Scottish blood or have any Scottish links, you couldn’t fail to be highly entertained by this celebration of Robert Burns. Mim Erasmus and Frank Graham make an enjoyable informal duo as they read Burns’ poetry and sing his songs as well as provide some interesting history.

The stage is decorated with tartan – tablecloths, blankets over chairs and jackets. As Erasmus introduces the show and gives the audience a brief insight into the life of Robert Burns, she is charmingly dressed, as she describes it, as “like a wee Scottish peasant”.

A large screen provides the focus for images of Scottish dancing, Scottish musicians and bands, as well as coverage of Mauchline where Burns lived with his wife Jean Armour.

Both Erasmus and Graham have an impressive history.

As Miriam Backhouse in the 70s, singer and guitarist Erasmus was established as England’s “First Lady of Folk” having starred at many folk clubs and festivals including the prestigious Cambridge and Edinburgh Festivals. She is also well-known for her children’s puppet shows.

Graham became a household name during his many years playing numerous characters on Springbok Radio and through his theatre work at the Playhouse, especially his portrayal of Colonel Pickering in the 2009 version of My Fair Lady presented by the Playhouse.

I always enjoy Erasmus’s delivery of folk songs and her rendition of those with a touch of sadness shows her natural sincerity and unaffectedness. Balancing the sadness of some of the songs and poetry, Graham provides much humour with time-honoured jokes which show his extensive versatility for accents and voices.

My only problem is that it almost seemed as if the two performers were operating in their own spheres and more interaction between them is needed to create unity.

Burns’ work include numerous songs that are very popular today such as Ye banks and braes and My love is like a red, red rose. His song written for a friend Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot is, of course, sung worldwide at the start of a new year. The lyrics of most of the songs are displayed on the screen so the audience is able to sing along if they aren’t familiar with the words.

Patrons should arrive at Tina’s an hour earlier than performance time to enjoy the pipe band and haggis celebration.

There is a show tonight (January 25) at 20h00 and on Sunday (January 26) at 14h00. (The theatre venue itself opens 90 minutes before show for drinks)

Tickets R160 (R140 pensioners and students with a valid student card) and tables seat 8. (No alcohol or food may be brought on to the premises). Tickets are cash or EFT only. Secure parking is available. Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland (also for large group booking discounts of 8 or more –R130 pp) on 082 499 8636 or email: or visit

(Patrons are welcome to book for dinner or lunch at Tina's Restaurant before the show: Call 031 764 7843 to book)

Tina’s Hotel is situated at 14 Beryldene Road in Kloof. – Caroline Smart