Fleetwood Mac… still a wow!

Cast members of The Chain – The Fleetwood Mac Story. From left are Trevor Donjeany, Colin Peddie, drummer Mali Sewell, Barry Thomson, Marion Loudon and Dawn Selby.

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Stage: The Reals present The Chain – The Fleetwood Mac Story
Rhumbelow Theatre
REVIEW BY BILLY SUTER
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I HAVE seen it seven times over the years and I could, honestly, see it again… so excellent is The Chain – The Fleetwood Mac Story, which remains one of the finest musical tributes staged to date at Durban’s cosy and informal Rhumbelow Theatre at the end of Cunningham Road (off Bartle Road) in Umbilo.

A low-fuss, high-quality production – presented with minimal and interesting patter, and featuring some great footage of the real FM, shown on suspended screens flanking the stage – the show is now back again to delight anew.

Final performances are at the Umbilo venue at 2pm today (Sunday, December 12), 7pm on Friday and Saturday (December 17 and 18), then at 2pm on Sunday, December 19. The show then moves to the Rhumbelow at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof from December 21 to 24 and again from December 28 to 31.

Tickets cost R180 each (no discounts for this show) and a bar is available at each venue, where seating is at separate tables and Covid-19 protocols apply.

If you have yet to see this musical tribute, don’t mess about – book now! These entertainers are quite superb, play with great passion and enjoyment, and their performances of classic music get people up, dancing and cheering before the show reaches its finale.

The Reals is an exceptional and versatile Durban band – headed by amiable singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, versatile keyboardist and musical director and singer Dawn Selby, former Johnny Clegg bassist Trevor Donjeany and kick-ass drummer Mali Sewell. For this show, the team is joined by master guitarist Colin Peddie (of the band Rise) and the ubiquitous, ebullient Marion Loudon on lead vocals, whose voice is perfectly suited to the Fleetwood Mac repertoire.

They get it just right – capturing all the nuances, all the excitement – as they cover the Fleetwood Mac repertoire from the band’s early days as a late-’60s blues group, in London under the leadership of the late Peter Green, through to their massive 1980s hits as a California-based group with a changing line-up.

Fleetwood Mac was noted for complicated relationships and excessive spending, but more so for magical music.

Expect all the hits here, with each member of the band getting to have a vocal solo. All the biggies impress – from the group’s first No 1, the terrific dual-guitar instrumental Albatross, through to biggies including Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, Seven Wonders, The Chain, Songbird, Say You Love Me, Everywhere, Gypsy, You Make Loving Fun, Hold Me, Little Lies and Dreams.

Here, too, are the brilliant blues items Man of the World and Need Your Love So Bad, which are among my favourite moments in the show, along with the team’s rousing delivery of Tusk (with Colin and Marion adding extra percussion), Barry’s wonderful, acoustic solo delivery of Never Going Back Again and Barry and Marion’s quietly hypnotic rendition of Landslide.

The informal supper-theatre venue opens 90 minutes before the show for a bring-your-own picnic dinner (Umbilo theatre only). Light meals and snacks can also be bought at the theatre, where patrons have to use the cash bar (very reasonable prices too!).

Booking is essential… at Computicket or email: roland@stansell.za.net. Or ring 082 499 8636.


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