Donations to save Durban theatres

Roland Stansell of Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre with some of the DVD copies of shows he is placing online.


DURBAN’S Rhumbelow Theatre franchise is receiving much-needed support from fans of the theatre that has branches in Umbilo, Kloof, Pietermartizburg,Sheffield Beach and Durban North.

Since the theatres were closed shortly before lockdown, in line with government orders arising from measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Rhumbelow’s manager and entertainment co-ordinator, Roland Stansell, has expressed grave concern about keeping his theatres afloat.

In collaboration with performers, he then introduced 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 want to watch a filmed Rhumbelow Theatre show, for which Stansell will provide an online link.

Stansell has now placed 59 pre-recorded Rhumbelow shows online, in a bid to try to cover the theatres’ monthly costs and to help place bread and butter on the table for performers.

The initiative kicked off at the weekend with The Reals’ Cold Fact show, a tribute to Rodriguez. Donations from viewing that and other Rhumbelow shows available online have raised R6780 by today. One fan donated R1000 towards the Rhumbelow’s running costs, which average R5000 a month. This covers insurance on equipment and other expenses.

“I feel very positive about the response. People have been really positive on Facebook and the initial round of donations for watching shows has been good,” said Stansell, adding that he hoped, with fingers tightly crossed, that the trend would continue over the next few weeks.

Anyone keen to watch a show and help save the theatre should first decide on how many people will be watching. Viewers should make a minimum donation of R100 per person watching, and deposit this amount 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)
Reference: (Name of show you’re keen to watch)

Once you email proof of payment to  you will then be sent the link to watch the show.

The 59 shows staged previously at the Rhumbelow and currently available online include popular offerings from The Reals, Mark Banks, Godfrey Johnson, Sam Marais, Frank Graham Lisa Bobbert, Cat Simoni, Rocco de Villiers, Daniele Pascal, Tonya Koenderman, Janna Ramos-Violante, Darren King, Rory Rootenberg, Jacobus van Heerden, The Glitter Girls, Graham Rich, Barbie Meyer, Elvis impersonator Doug Weich and drag lip-sync troupe The Family Players.

The following is the full list of shows currently on offer:

200111: JET DRAG THE FAMILY PLAYERS Fun drag show with The Family Players
200308: TIPSY TART FOLLIES THE FAMILY PLAYERS A fun comedy Drag show from The Family Players
200501: TSUNAMI CONCERT THE FAMILY PLAYERS & FRIENDS A concert that was done to raise funds for the Gift of The Givers during the time of the Christmas 2004 Tsunami.
200503: DIVA’S TO A T TONYA KOENDERMAN Musical cabaret with Tonya Koenderman, performing music of some of the top ladies.
200602: LIZA WITH A T TONYA KOENDERMAN The music and life of Lisa Minnelli
200606: BOBBERT UNCUT LISA BOBBERT A laugh a minute show with Lisa Bobbert
200607: THE G SPOT FRANK GRAHAM & GRAHAM RICH Comedy and laughs with 2 of Durban’s comic veterians.
200612: ABSOLUTLEY FABULOUS THE FAMILY PLAYERS AND FRIENDS Comedy Drag show at its best from The Family Players
200707: BOSMANS WOMEN BARBIE MEYER Herman Charles Bosman story telling with Barbie Meyer
200803: THE VERY WEATHERED GIRLS THE FAMILY PLAYERS Fun drag show with The Family Players
200807: WILD & FRAGRANT BARBIE MEYER Hilarious story telling with Barbie Meyer. Story’s from Herman Charles Bosman
200811: FRANK GRAHAM – RECONTEUR EXTRAORDINARE FRANK GRAHAM A fun evening of stories and jokes with Frank Graham 200901 DIARIES OF A DOWN & OUT DIVA TONYA KOENDERMAN Fun Musical cabaret with Tonya
200906: CADENZA AND MORE RORY ROOTENBERG & ANNE DUTHIE ON PIANO Intoxicating & infectious musical mampoer
200912: FAIRY FOLLIES THE FAMILY PLAYERS A Fun comic Drag show from The Family Players
201005: SHADOW OF BREL GODFREY JOHNSON Godfrey Johnson Plays the music of Jacques Brel
201006: BANANA BANANA – 11 GAYS TO GO THE FAMILY PLAYERS Rhumbelow Theatre & The Family Players Celebrated the World Cup in 2010 with a Fun drag show called BANANA BANANA – it had 11 players.
201011: C’EST SI BON DANIÉLE PASCAL – PIANO PIETER VAN HELSLANDT Great French artists and other music from Daniele Pascal
201103: HIGH NOTES & HIGHLIGHTS RORY ROOTENBERG & ANNE DUTHIE ON PIANO Songs and music with Rory Rootenberg
201107: BOBBERLICIOUS LISA BOBBERT Fun on stage with this mad cap performer.
201112: STUFFED TURKEYS THE FAMILY PLAYERS & FRIENDS Fun drag show with The Family Players
201202: COWARD TO BREL GODFREY JOHNSON Godfrey Johnson Plays the music of Noel Coward and Cole Porter
201206: BAD HABITS THE FAMILY PLAYERS Comedy Drag show about Nuns
201210: THERE WAS A TIME – SPRINGBOK RADIO FRANK GRAHAM Enjoy a fun look at the history or radio and specifically Springbok Radio in South Africa
201302: LE CHOP ROYALE BENSON SCHWENSON Comedy with Jacobus van Heerden
201302: SUSPECTS OF LOVE THE FAMILY PLAYERS Fun comdey drag show for Valentine’s Day 2013
201310: THE ULTIMATE VARIETY SHOW THE FAMILY PLAYERS & FRIENDS Fun Variety show including singers and comedy drag.
201311: THE GLITTER GIRLS Marion Loudon, lisa Bobbert & Liesl Coppin Anyone remember Pac-man… The Rubic cube and Dallas? Yip, 1989 was a special year. These three trend busting Glitter Girls have to go back! Back to neon, back to big hair and back to High School -Scottburgh High for their 30 year school reunion!
201312: TIS THE SEASON MARION LOUDON & THE REALS Fun Christmas show with Marion Loudon & The Reals (Barry Thomson, Dawn Selby, Jason Andrew & Mali Sewell)
201312: COLD FACT THE REALS Who would know that an unknown album from an unknown artist in 1970 (Rodriguez) would become a huge phenomenon in South Africa? This musical tribute to Rodriguez’s music is performed by Barry Thomson and ’The Reals’ with Musical Director Dawn Selby on keyboards and percussion, Mali Sewell on drums and vocals, and Jason Andrew on bass guitar and vocals.
201402: STUPID CUPID THE FAMILY PLAYERS & STATIK Fun show including the comedy Family Players Drag Troupe and STATIK, Clinton Green & Selwyn Rautenbach
201502: SWING TIME PLATFORM JAZZ Great Swing Music with local Durban Band Platform Jazz
201504: BEHIND THE NOISE BARRY THOMSON, JASON ANDREW & MARION LOUDON Ever noticed how often a great song gets drowned out by the noise that comes from over production in a studio? Join Durbanites Barry Thomson, Jason Andrew & Marion Loudon as they get back to the root of what makes a great song and give the melody and lyrics space to shine.
201508: THE WAY WE WERE – STREISAND CAT SIMONI A musical presentation by Cat Simoni on the life and music of Barbra Streisand.
201512: LAUREL CANYON BARRY THOMSON, JASON ANDREW & DAWN SELBY Laurel Canyon wasn’t much to look at. A few modest bungalows and log cabins crammed between an occasional faded mansion that had been left over from the days when it was a secluded, semi-rural retreat for Hollywood’s silent-movie stars. And yet from the quiet of the densely wooded canyon came a music revolution that would change popular culture.
200810: BOTH OF ME RORY ROOTENBERG & JEREMY QUICKFALL ON PIANO Musical mompoer presented by Rory & Jeremy
201310: ELVIS – THROUGH THE AGES DOUG WEICH & HIS BAND The Music of Elvis Presely over the years. 201303 WALKIN IN MEMPHIS DOUG WEICH & HIS BAND The Music of Elvis Presely over the years.
201411: PASCAL SINGS BREL DANIÉLE PASCAL – PIANO PIETER VAN HELSLANDT In the Francophone world, Brel has left an enduring influence on music and culture and he has inspired many musicians worldwide. The Music and life of Jacques Brel
200706: SONGS OF LOVE & LIPSTICK GODFREY JOHNSON Songs and music with Godfrey Johnson
201502: QUEENS OF THE OPERA THE FAMILY PLAYERS AND FRIENDS Fun music and drag show presentation for Valentine’s Day in 2015

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