Showtime at Durban’s Rhumbelow

Calli Thomson presents Kitten on the Keys at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo from September 4 to 6.


AFTER five months of closure due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the first of Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre venues – the flagship venue at 42 Cunningham Road, off Bartle Road in Umbilo  – opens on September 4 with a show titled Kitten on the Keys.

This production, and all shows going forward, will be presented at 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays (an earlier start from the usual 8pm, due to current lockdown curfew restrictions) and at 2pm on Sundays.

Starring singer-keyboardist Calli Thomson, a Rhumbelow regular and also a popular keyboardist and musical director on the Barnyard Theatre circuit, Kitten on the Keys pays tribute to Calli’s musical heroes. These include Billy Joel, Paul Rodgers, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, Nina Simone, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crowe, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Jim Steinman, Barbra Streisand, The Dixie Chicks, Mark Cohn, Sting and Bonnie Raitt.

Kitten on the Keys will be followed by talented young magician Brendon Peel’s Mysteries of the Mind, from September 11 to 13, and The Gee Jays vocal trio’s mix of hits and humour, Unlocked, from September 18 to 20. The ever-popular Woodstock, the ’60s tribute show starring The Reals band and guest vocalist Marion Loudon, slots in at the Umbilo venue for a longer run – from September 25 to October 4.

The cast of Woodstock. From left are Jason Andrew, Barry Thomson, Mali Sewell, Dawn Selby and guest vocalist Marion Loudon.

Tickets for all shows must be pre-booked, due to lockdown procedures, and only 50 people will be admitted for each performance. All seating will be at separate tables, with co-habiting couples and/or family members obviously accommodated at the same tables.

Patrons are encouraged to bring snack baskets (or buy a light meal and/or snacks at the theatre), but all beverages must be bought at the theatre pub.

Tickets cost R160 each, but R140 for pensioners and students with a valid student card.

Booking is essential as no walk-ins will be permitted. Phone Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636 or mail him at

“Patrons need to wear a face and nose covering at all times in the venue except when eating or drinking,” emphasises Rhumbelow Theatre manager and entertainment co-ordinator Roland Stansell.

“All patrons will have their temperatures taken on arrival at the venue, and will be required to complete documents relating to travel and COVID-19 contacts. All patrons will also be required to complete an indemnity form and complete an attendance register with all appropriate information, including confirmation of co-habiting when couples attend.”

All patrons will be hand sanitized on arrival and at interval, and will be requested to bring hand sanitizer with them to the venue.

Any patron that does not meet the required Health & Safety protocols and temperature check will be refused entry.

Patrons above the age of 60 or a person with co-morbidities will be discouraged from attending performances.

Note: No opening dates have been confirmed yet for the Rhumbelow Theatre venues in Kloof, Salt Rock and Pietermaritzburg.

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