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THE BEE GEES (article first published : 2004-02-12)

Way back in the late 60’s, well-known larger-than-life Durban entertainment personality, Stuart Mey was an accomplished skater. He spent much time at the now rather dilapidated Durban Ice Rink and was always on the lookout for some unsuspecting novice lady skater to impress with an invitation to accompany him in the “partner’s session”. These sessions invariably included a number from the brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, better known as The Bee Gees.

Stuart has now put together another of his tribute shows featuring the music of this legendary group which became sadly depleted just over a year ago when Maurice Gibb (twin of Robin) died on January 12, 2003. Running at the Dockyard Theatre, The Bee Gees will delight all lovers of the group’s music and is bound to attract new fans.

“People have been asking me to do a show with The Bee Gees music for a long time,” quips Stuart, “but I said that I’d been waiting for someone who could sing high enough to take the top harmonies!”

This role is now ably filled by Clive Gumede, recently seen in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Adding to the soprano line is Stuart’s daughter Nicky Mey, attractively dressed by stylist Kevin Ellis. Completing the vocalists are Stuart himself and the star of Joseph, the genial Derrick Anderson. The performers are dressed smartly in black and white and the functional set includes a twinkling city skyline. This is a static show with no dramatic component – the focus is firmly on the music.

Between them, the members of the band have close on 150 years experience and it shows. This solid foursome comprises Ian Webster (drums), Bruce Boome (bass guitar), Musa Vincent Mthethwa (keyboards) and Gerald Knott (guitar).

Considering the fact that the three younger singers hadn’t been born when The Bee Gees were in their heydey, they cope well with the numbers and musically the show is sound.

While I would have preferred a less robust and strident approach to many of the songs, any cast that can get a full audience on their feet and dancing on a steaming hot Durban February night has got to have something going for them! If you like the Bee Gees music, this is for you. Stuart’s linking chat also provides some interesting information on the group and its music.

The Bee Gees is running at the Dockyard. The three-course meal at R75 is good value and table costs are R65 (downstairs) and R100 (upstairs). For starters, there’s Smoked Salmon, Chicken Satay and a nice refreshing Bee Gees Salad. Main course choices are Calamari (nice and tender but the sauce was very bland), Beef Kebabs, Thai Chicken Wrap and Roasted Vegetable Kebabs. For dessert, there are generous portions of highly decadent Chocolate Brownies, an enjoyable Lemon Meringue Cheese Cake and Cape Velvet Dom Pedro.

Book at Computicket or at the Dockyard on 031 332 1086. – Caroline Smart




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