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Friday, June 24, 2022


(Above: Pic by Marc Thoresson)

I would go as far as to say that this is the best Barnyard production I have ever seen. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Barnyard Theatre is usually the go-to venue if you are in the mood for a bit of a party. A few liquid refreshments, a couple of pizzas along with plenty of loud music and razzmatazz on stage, and spontaneous dancing in the aisles.

Well, the latest show at the Suncoast Barnyard Theatre, Thank You for the Music, has all these elements. But there is also an understated sophistication and elegance to this production which one does not normally associate with a Barnyard offering.

It is less of a crazy razzle-dazzle party, and more of a revue where the music is respected and played with considerable flair (or at least it is a juxtaposition of the two). This is probably due to the excellent band, who have been together for a few shows now and have developed an excellent on-stage chemistry, along with some very talented singers.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is the best Barnyard production I have ever seen.

Thank You for the Music is, of course, not a new production – it has been seen a few times before over the years at the old Barnyard in Umhlanga. And one may think that ABBA, the Bee Gees and Queen make strange bedfellows, but they certainly get on well together in this refreshing new production.

Swedish group ABBA is one of the most popular and successful musical groups in the history of popular music. Their two girl members, Agnetha and Anni-Frid, are represented in this show by the effervescent Savanna de Beer and relatively new-to the barnyard stage, Kaylee McIlroy.

(Left: Savanna de Beer & Kaylee McIlroy. Pic by Robz Millar)

The vivacious Savanna, despite her relative youth, has a load of experience at this level and is a star in her own right. Kaylee has made excellent strides since she was first seen on the Barnyard stage earlier this year. She really comes into her own with her solo Money, Money, Money.

All the ABBA hits are in the show. Including Voulez Voux, Chiquita, Waterloo, SOS, Mamma Mia, Winner Takes It All, Dancing Queen, Thank You for the Music and Gimme, Gimme.

Guitarist Jason Kylen also pitched in with an ABBA song, Does Your Mother Know.

(Right: The Bee Gees: Jerryn Fosteras, Josh Philander & Kyle Matthews. Pic by Marc Thoresson)

The Bee Gees, the group that seemed to keep re-inventing itself, are represented by the man with the extraordinary falsetto, Jerryn Fosteras, Josh Philander (son of the well-known Clinton Philander) and Mr Cool himself, the urbane Kyle Matthews.

Matthews proved his experience when the show ground to a halt with a technical glitch and, as cool as a cucumber, he chatted to the audience and made sure no-one got agitated.

Again, all the Bee Gee hits are included in the show and, amongst others, you can hear Massachusetts, Message to You, To Love Somebody, Words, Tragedy, Lonely Days and of course Staying Alive.

Now, for the undoubted star of the show, playing Freddie Mercury from Queen is Cape Town singer Richard Kaldenberg. Mercury, with his eccentric moves and clothing may be relatively easy to impersonate. However, with this young man they have found an absolute doppelganger.

(Richard Kaldenberg. Pic by Robz Millar)

He has the looks, the moves, and the wonderful voice to recreate the magic of Freddie Mercury. An exciting talent with a heap of confidence.

Some of the Queen songs heard are Don’t Stop Me Now, Break Free, Somebody to Love, We Will Rock You, It’s a Kinda Magic and We are The Champions.

Special mention must be made of guitarist Jason Kylen who showed his performance chops replicating the style of Brain May from Queen - including a solo version of Who Wants to Live Forever. He shows that he ranks with the best guitarists in Durban – and boy, is Durban blessed with some great guitarists.

Other members of the band are Dylan van der Linde on drums, Bongani Shokela on bass and the peerless Callie Thomson on keyboards. She is also the Musical Director for the show and, as the boss, she must take a lot of credit for the musical success of this show.

Thank You for the Music runs at the Suncoast Barnyard until September 25, 2022. It is highly don’t miss it.

Bookings can be made online or by phoning 031 940 0500.