Show must go on at Rhumbelow

The Reals band. From left are Jason Andrew, Barry Thomson, Dawn Selby and Mali Sewell.

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BY BILLY SUTER

WHILE the South African arts community faces uncertain times and loss of income due to the spread of the Coronavirus, Roland Stansell, the theatre manager and entertainment co-ordinator of Durban’s popular Rhumbelow Theatre group, has insisted the shows must go.

As per government instructions, Rhumbelow theatres in Umbilo, Kloof, Durban North, Pietermaritzburg and Sheffield Beach will remain closed, but Stansell, in collaboration with performers who have appeared at these venues, will be offering weekend online screenings of previously filmed Rhumbelow shows in a bid to raise funds for the theatres and performers. In addition, other shows performed and filmed previously, will also be available on YouTube.

The overheads for the Rhumbelow Theatre group are about R5000 a month, Stansell explains, pointing out that this sum covers insurance for equipment, advertisements on social media networks, and various other operating expenses.

“We urge everyone to support this initiative to assist not only The Rhumbelow’s bid to stay afloat, but also to assist our performers/artists to ensure that they have bread and butter on their plates at home,” he adds.

To be known as the LOSS Series, short for Lockdown Online Streaming Shows, the concept involves theatre-lovers being asked to make a donation of at least R100 per person if they watch a filmed Rhumbelow Theatre show, for which Stansell will provide an online link.

“We have a number of shows already available on YouTube and will be adding to this list daily,” he explains, adding that the first major Lockdown Online Streaming Show will be presented this weekend. It will be a recording of Cold Fact,  Durban band The Reals’ hit show focused on the music and memories of Rodriguez. It’s a fine production.

The Reals features singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, keyboardist and musical director Dawn Selby, singer-bassist Jason Andrew and singer-drummer Mali Sewell offering such hits as Sugar Man, I Wonder, A Most Disgusting Song, Climb Up on My Music, Rich Folks Hoax, Crucify Your Mind and the haunting Sandrevan Lullaby.

“Please reserve your seat and let’s make this a biggie to support The Rhumbelow and its performing artists. The show, filmed in its entirety, will be available online this weekend only – from Friday (March 20) to midnight Sunday  (March 22),” says Stansell.

To secure your seat follow these steps.

1) Advise on how many people will be watching
2) Make a minimum donation of R100 per person watching.
3) Deposit into the Rhumbelow bank account. Banking details are as follows:

Name of Account: Rhumbelow Theatre
Bank: Nedbank Musgrave 130126
Generic Branch Code : 198 765
Account No : 2301348474 (Savings)
Fax for Deposit Slip : 086 685 0300 (if not electronic transfer)
Use Reference: COLD FACT

4) Please email proof of payment to roland@stansell.co.za  and you will then be sent the link to watch the show.

NOTE: Fifty-eight other shows that have been filmed in their entirety and placed on YouTube for viewing, and for which donations for viewing are requested, include hit productions by Mark Banks, Frank Graham, Godfrey Johnson and The Family Players drag lip-sync group. Shows by Lisa Bobbert, Cat Simoni and Tonya Koenderman are scheduled to be added to the list soon. For more details on links to view these shows, and donate for doing so, contact Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636 or mail roland@stansell.co.za


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