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THE BEE GEES (article first published : 2007-01-20)

Back in 2004, Stuart Mey presented a sell-out tribute to The Bee Gees in the old Dockyard Theatre premises at the harbour mouth. This production featured Stuart himself; Clive Gumede - chosen because he could handle the falsetto range; Nicky Mey and Derrick Anderson who performed against a twinkling Manhattan skyline.

That same Manhattan skyline has reappeared in the Dockyard’s new premises in Musgrave Centre, forming the backdrop to Stuart’s current show The Bee Gees – a Tribute. In this re-staging, the line-up is all male with Dave Arnold as the eldest Gibb brother, Barry, and Andrew Jones and Paul Cassells as the twin younger brothers Robin and the late Maurice.

Sporting longer-hair, Dave Arnold drives the show with his comfortable and relaxed style. The tallest of the trio, Andrew Jones is engaging and watch-able as always and occasionally takes up the bongo drums. Paul Cassells has the highest range so he handles all the falsetto parts which he does extremely well. It does take some getting used to, though, hearing these high notes coming from the Maurice figure with the distinctive beard, hat and darkened glasses instead of from the Barry character!

The music is linked with easy chat from Dave Arnold about the famous trio who were all born in the Isle of Man, a beautiful little island that is very close to my heart. They had their first hit in Australia 40 years ago –ironically as they were leaving the country to try to make it in the UK. Once there, they hit the top of the pops with New York Mining Disaster which was closely followed by the equally popular Massachusetts.

The programme includes To Love Somebody which they wrote for Otis Redding but he died before he could perform it and Heartbreaker which Dionne Warwick finally accepted after two initial rejections and went on to make it a super hit. Also expect to hear popular numbers such as You Win Again, How Deep is Your Love, More than a Woman, Stayin’ Alive, Nite Fever and Tragedy.

With a smaller and tighter music combo, the sound quality at Dockyard is much improved over the last production with only a few imbalances sending my listening register into orbit! Stuart Mey has deliberately presented the show in a concert format in keeping with the Bee Gees’ style of performing and the lighting is simple but effective. All in all, it’s an enjoyable evening of great and much-loved songs presented in an easy-going style.

The Bee Gees – a Tribute runs until February 24. Tickets R160 per person includes the show and a good two-course dinner. Starters are Chicken Livers Peri-Peri, Crumbed Mushrooms and Dockyard Calamari which I enjoyed and it was a sensible starter portion. On the main menu we chose Grilled Sirloin Steak and the Catch of the Day (both generous portions) with the other options being Chicken Thermidor and Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni. Desserts are an optional R20. The usual Dockyard Sunday Special is R110 per person which includes the show and a main course only (starts and desserts available as extras).

Booking is essential through Karen on 031 201 9147 or at Computicket. – Caroline Smart




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