When the Barnyard Theatre opened at Gateway Mall, Umhlanga 15 years ago, the last thing I was interested in was live theatre. I was far too busy being a youngster up to no good. But over the last few years we've visited the Barnyard a few times a year and we've made some great memories there.
As a lot of you will know already, The Barnyard is closing down at the end of December and it's a damn shame. The easy assumption to make it that it has not been well supported of late, something Durbanites are notorious for in event organisation circles and a major reason why we don't get a lot of the bigger concerts Joburg and Cape Town get. But that's just me speculating, I don't know the facts.
The Barnyard has a certain character that I will miss, an intimacy where you feel very close to the performers and it really becomes a personal experience. I'm not a big fan of concerts, I find them messy and awkward, but give me a table at the Barnyard anytime!
Back to last night when a group of friends piled into two vehicles and headed down to watch South African rock legends Prime Circle live. If you are one of the 3 South Africans who haven't seen them live, go to their website (I'll wait) here , register for their mailing list, and book a ticket to their next show near you, you won't be disappointed. Buy their new album and a T-shirt while you're at it.
We arrived around an hour before the show kicked off and purchased a few ice-buckets full of adult beverages, ordered a tower of pizzas, my wife bought and changed into her new Prime Circle vest, and we took a seat at our table ready for action. Soon there was rapturous laughter and we were within grasping distance of world peace.
The lights dimmed and it was showtime as the band walked on stage and took their seats. The intimacy factor was evident again as frontman Ross Learmonth introduced everyone and casually ended up in conversation with somebody at the front table. He also took some time to talk about saving the Barnyard Theatre... oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the guy! Before the band came out, there was a man, not affiliated with The Barnyard, just a regular I think, who walked onto stage and gave quite a stirring speech about saving The Barnyard. I'm not sure what us regular people can do, but I suspect its too late unfortunately. I digress...
The next 2 hours were just awesome. Prime Circle were fantastic to watch as they told their story while playing hit after hit from their brilliant catalogue of music with the smoke and the lights and all of those amazing things that make a music show great. We laughed, we cried, it was the best of times. And then it was over, done too soon as all good things seem to be. The sheer force of the applause of the crowd sucked the band back on stage for a little encore before it was over for realises this time.
All in all, that was probably our last trip to The Barnyard and what a great evening to remember it by. You all now have around 30 days to book yourself a seat at the barnyard here to make your own memories and I sincerely hope they are as sweet as mine.
Dear Barnyard; it was good while it lasted, thank you for the memories, we'll never forget you.