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Saturday, September 26, 2020


(Jason Andrew, Barry Thomson, Marion Loudon, Mali Sewell & Dawn Selby. Pic by Bev Millar)

I have in the past suggested that “Woodstock” is the best of their many productions. And nothing I heard on this occasion dissuades me from that sentiment. (Review by Keith Millar)

The re-opening of Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre after the lockdown has been a godsend for those of us who love live theatre.

But now the theatre is offering the ultimate therapy for the trials and tribulations we have had to endure over the past six months. Woodstock is back!

The show features Durban’s wonderful tribute band, The Reals, and celebrates one of the most seminal events in music history the legendry Woodstock festival.

This year marks the 51st anniversary of the festival which took place from August 15 to 18, 1969, on Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in the New York town of Bethel. Thirty thousand were expected to attend but in the end over 400,000 young people arrived to enjoy over 32 acts in an atmosphere of peace, love, and harmony.

The Reals do an excellent of re-creating that atmosphere with the added ingredients of energy, excitement, and dynamism. They all put their hearts and souls into what is spectacular performance.

The band is made up of the incomparable Barry Thomson (guitar / vocals), Musical Director Dawn Selby (keyboards / vocals), Mali Sewell (drums / vocals) and Jason Andrew (bass guitar / vocals). For this production, they are joined by the vivacious and super-talented Marion Loudon (vocals / percussion).

There are many highlights in this show but perhaps none more than the band's superb rendition of Santana’s Soul Sacrifice where each member is given the opportunity to show off their brilliance on their instruments. A memorable moment.

Right up there is Marion Loudon’s stirring delivery of Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee, while her versions of The Band’s I Shall Be Released, Melanie’s Lay Down (Candles In The Rain), Scott Mackenzie’s San Francisco and The Who’s See Me are also excellent.

Dawn Selby also delivered a Janis Joplin song. Her powerful rendition of Piece Of My Heart is splendid. She is, of course, part of nearly every song as a back-up singer.

Jason Andrew contributes with Country Joe’s I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die, Arlo Guthrie’s Coming Into Los Angeles and The Band’s The Weight.

Mali Sewell sings Joe Cocker’s version of The Letter, and Joni Mitchel’s 1970 tribute to the festival Woodstock.

Guitar supremo, and frontman of The Reals, Barry Thomson, performs Richie Haven’s Freedom, Tim Hardin’s If I Were a Carpenter, CCR’s Fortunate Son, Canned Heat’s On The Road Again, See Me and My Generation (part of a medley of The Who’s songs), and Joe Cocker’s covers of Feelin’ Alright and With a Little Help From My Friends.

But it was his performance of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child and Star Spangled Banner which brought the house down. No matter how often you hear Thomson play this music, you cannot help but be moved.

The Real’s have performed Woodstock on many occasions, but the show remains fresh and invigorating. I have in the past suggested that it is the best of their many productions. And nothing I heard on this occasion dissuades me from that sentiment.

The show runs from September 25 to 27 and again from October 2 to 4. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 18h30 and on Sundays at 14h00. (Venue opens 60 minutes before show for snacks/drinks)

“Whilst we are not changing our 2020 pricing, we would ask that if you are able to please assist us and the performers by donating a higher ticket price,” says Rhumbelow Theatre’s director, Roland Stansell.

Tickets R160 (R140 pensioners and students with a valid student card apply for the first weekend only. Loyalty Card Holders R130.



75 PEOPLE MAX PER SHOW (50% capacity)

Rhumbelow Theatre is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road, Durban. Limited secure parking is available and there is a cash bar (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Bring food picnic baskets or buy from Kevin.

Booking is essential on email:

For more information contact 082 499 8636 or visit - Keith Millar




1. Patrons need to wear a face and nose covering at all times in the venue except when eating or drinking.

2. All patrons will have their temperatures taken on arrival at the venue.

3. All patrons will be required to complete documents relating to Travel and Covid-19 contacts.

4. All patrons will be required to complete an indemnity form.

5. All patrons will be required to complete an attendance register with all appropriate information including confirmation of co-habiting when couples attend.

6. All patrons will be hand sanitized on arrival and at interval.

7. All patrons will be requested to bring hand sanitizer with them to the venue.

8. Any patron who does not meet the required Health & Safety protocols and temperature check will be refused entry.

9. Patrons above the age of 60 or a person with co-morbidities will be discouraged from attending performances. (Note: Discouraged as per Government Guidelines  – please be guided by your own health status)