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Saturday, April 15, 2023



(Germaine Gamiet & Daniel Anderson)

(Pics by Harry Lock)

One of the best theatre pieces I’ve ever seen. All credit to Wela Kapela productions – let’s see you back soon! (Review by Caroline Smart)

The stage at Rhumbelow Theatre has been completely transformed for the current show, Vincent – His Quest to Love and Be Loved. As you walk into the theatre, you are charmed. Both sides of the stage and the complete back wall are covered in fabric with the projected image of Vincent van Gogh’s apple blossom painting. A reminder of the link to the troubled artist’s love of flowers. As the show progresses, appropriate images of his work are screened onto all these areas, pulling the audience closer into van Gogh’s life.

Standing alone on an easel in front of the stage is Van Gogh’s portrait of Doctor Paul Gachet who treated him in the latter troubled stages of his life.

Vincent – His Quest to Love and Be Loved, which looks at the life and challenges of Vincent van Gogh, is the second production this year to come to Durban from the East London-based company, Wela Kapela. The last show, Mad About The Boys, was also excellent - written and directed by Amanda Bothma with musical director/pianist Germaine Gamiet and again starring Daniel Anderson.

(Left: Daniel Anderson)

As he did before, Daniel Anderson blew me away. That such a young man (23) should have so much maturity and versatility way beyond his years is a heart-warming sight. He handles the beautifully-written script with ease and perfect articulation, flowing seamlessly from acute grief to hysterical desperation, while also handling the appropriately-chosen songs associated with the storyline.

Van Gogh became closer to his brother Theo later in his life and the show often sees the artist seated at the bureau pouring out his soul to his brother. Anderson also takes on the character of the artist, using a slower and lower-toned voice and physical stance.

Seated, almost unobtrusively stage right, behind the keyboard, Germaine Gamiet provides perfect accompaniment to the numbers such as Nat King Cole’s Nature Boy and Orange Coloured Sky; Freddie Mercury’s Somebody to Love and Jacques Brel’s Madeleine and Carousel.

Other numbers require strong emotional commitment from Anderson such as Stephen Sondheim’s Losing My Mind; I’m Calm and Being Alive.

Van Gogh had a turbulent life and was always on the move, having invariably been sacked from whatever job he had managed to find. He was incapable of handling a relationship. Parental and fraternal pressure as well as pressure from the church and the girls he tried to bring into his life, eventually pushed him over the edge.

One of the best theatre pieces I’ve ever seen. All credit to Wela Kapela productions – let’s see you back soon!

Vincent has performances today (April 15) at 19h30 and tomorrow (April 16) at 14h00 and 18h00. The running time is 60 minutes. Venue opens 90 minutes before show for drinks. Food is available at the theatre as is a bar (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises)

Tickets R200. Booking is essential through or Computicket

There is limited secure parking. Rhumbelow Theatre is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road in Umbilo, Durban. – Caroline Smart