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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ROCK SOLID (article first published : 2004-11-11)

The Dockyard Theatre, situated in the same building as RJ’s and Splashes at the harbour entrance, has been running for close on two years now and the latest news is that their tenure is confirmed to the end of January. Plans are still uncertain regarding the restructuring of this area and it is possible that The Dockyard may remain in existence a while longer.

However, at present it’s going strong and the current show, Rock Solid is set to run into the New Year. In July last year, The Dockyard presented Masters of Rock, Stuart Mey's tribute to the rock bands of the 1970's. The production generated such an enthusiastic response and consistent requests for more of the same that Stuart decided to mount another show which included most of the acts left out for time constraints. Rock Solid features numbers by Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills & Nash, Eric Clapton, The Bangles, Gary Moore, Toto, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Rolling Stones, as well as a touch of Deep Purple.

As always, Stuart’s band is a gem in itself and is absolutely “rock solid” from guitarists Bruce Boome, Gerald Knott and Glen Turrell to drummer Ian Webster and Musa Mtetwa on the keyboards. For this production, Stuart takes centre stage. A considerable presence both physically and vocally, he is supported by Nicky Mey, Karen Wood and Paul Cassells. Highlights from Stuart were Love the one you’re with, Whiter Shade of Pale and Still Got the Blues for You performed with Gerald Knott.

A strong and compelling performer, Karen Wood is much under-utilised in this show and she pulses with energy during her numbers. I particularly liked I Need a Hero and the showstopping I Love Rock ‘n Roll. Nicky Mey’s Tell Me Lies and Paul Cassell’s My Generation were also notable. Bruce Boome had the audience shouting for more with his antics on the guitar, at one time playing it with his teeth. Although, this action would have worked better if he’d done it sideways so that his technique could have become more obvious sooner.

Most of the time the sound was too loud. Correction, the balance on the musicians was about 10% too loud for the performers’ diction to be audible. The second half of the programme was considerably better but the decibles were bumped up for the closing numbers which again upset the balance. Apart from this, the show is full of energy and great music.

Instead of going for the usual glitz and glitter accompanying shows presented for the festive season, Rock Solid has gone the other way. The setting is stark, the stage set with scaffolding pieces and the main focal point is a splendid Harley Davidson motorbike (which is also for sale). I would have liked far more interaction with this machine – with the younger members of the cast sitting astride it, possibly – as it is such a symbol of the 70’s.

Tickets R70 include a two-course meal. For main course there’s Sirloin Steak with a choice of sauces, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Grilled Linefish or Spinach and Ricotta Canneloni. For dessert there’s Fruit Salad, Cheese Cake or Kalhua Dom Pedro. I had the sirloin which was cooked to my liking and the Cheese Cake was deliciously decadent!

Bookings or further enquires from Melissa on 031 332 1086 (o/h) or on 083 775 3337. Bookings are available for corporate end-of-year functions. – Caroline Smart




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