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Annual bash burns brighter

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uShaka Marine World dolphins perform alongside the cast of A Golden Christmas Celebration: Dolphins by Starlight. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad

DIRECTOR: Wayne R Scott and Charon Williams-Ros
CHOREOGRAPHER: Shelley Haggard
CAST: Eight singers, a 12-piece orchestra, The Bravo String Quartet
VENUE: uShaka Marine World
UNTIL: December 15
RATING: ****


DURING a recent preview interview regarding this year’s Dolphins by Starlight, under the theme A Golden Christmas Celebration, producer/director Wayne R Scott promised the biggest Dolphins by Starlight to date. In fact he used the word “phenomenal”, and he was correct.

Now in it’s ninth year the annual event went off with a bang during its opening week last week.

It involved eight singers, a 12-piece orchestra; the Bravo String Quartet; three sets of performances by uShaka’s most popular dolphin family, headed by the shining sea-lebrity, Gambit; a set with uShaka’s mascots and Father Christmas; song and dance routines by the singers; and an elaborate set.

Putting this programme together must have been a mammoth task, but the pro- duction team pulled it off effortlessly and with flair.

Kudos to directors Scott and Charon Williams-Ros for a well rounded and highly entertaining offering.

They can’t be credited without Shem Mahabeer getting a mention for his excellent music direction, Shelley Haggard for her choreo- graphy (suitable to each era in music represented in the show) and the uShaka Marine World dolphin handlers for their co-ordination with the dolphins. Now for the show and performances.

The singers, musicians, orchestra and the Bravo String Quartet showed off their talents across a host of genres of music, and across genres, as they blended for different acts.

Hats off to Lauren Laing, Brendan Mendes, Samantha Landers, Marion Loudon, Lelo Zondi, Jonathan Johansen; and young performers Reece van Schalkwyk and Julia Sutton for their respective performances.

Under the theme A Golden Christmas Celebration, this year’s Dolphins by Starlight represented a journey through the number one selling songs from the 1930s to today, with a Christmas theme.

Hits from the likes of the Supremes, Elvis Presley, Shirley Temple, Nat King Cole and more; with a song list ranging from golden oldies such as the Christmas Song, Jingle Bells and Ave Maria, to contemporary classics such as Rocking Round the Christmas Tree, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe, were a hit with the audience. And of course traditional carols such as Silent Night, Oh come All Ye faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing were joyfully sung by all.

The beautiful set represented a rotating golden LP (record) along the water’s edge, and a mini set in the stands. Add to that highlights such as a “snow fall” in the audi- ence and the amazing dancing dolphins – this show is not to be missed.


• Dolphins by Starlight: A Golden Christmas Celebration takes place at uShaka Marine World from December 6 to 15. Tickets are R135 for adults and R110 for children under 13. Tickets through Computicket or uShaka ticketing (031 328 8000).

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