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Monday, March 31, 2014


(Ian von Memerty & Roelof Colyn)

One of the most successful shows in the history of South African showbiz: A Handful of Keys with Ian von Memerty and Roelof Colyn, returns to Durban for a run over the Easter holidays at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre to celebrate 20 remarkable years

Ian von Memerty and Roelof Colyn have often paired up together in A Handful of Keys. Von Memerty is probably best known for being a judge on SA’s Got Talent. When not in Handful, Colyn is a band leader/ accompanist/ arranger/ composer/ musical director/ conductor in - and for - a myriad shows.

Featuring a firecracker script and two grand pianos played with unparalleled virtuosity, A Handful of Keys entertains with music and songs from Elton John, Richard Clayderman, Nora Jones, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Liberace through to Bach, Debussy, Chopin and many more! All the old favourites are still there – The History of the Broadway Musical (100 years in 16 minutes), the great SA Medley, and the Rock ‘n Roll finale. With new jokes and new costumes (they wore the old ones out!), A Handful of Keys is a sparkling as ever!

The journey of A Handful of Keys is remarkable: it has played to more than 400,000 people on five continents, in 1,250 shows, with five different cast combinations, and has garnered nine national awards after seasons across South Africa and beyond.

This hilarious two-man piano show conceived and starring Ian von Memerty and Bryan Schimmel, began in 1994. In 2001 it entered its second incarnation - again starring Ian von Memerty, but this time alongside Roelof Colyn, who enjoyed a massive success in the show. The show toured nationally, and to London and Australia (twice). Again the audiences and critics were ecstatic, and the audiences poured in, in ever increasing numbers. Another three years, another 300 performances and the show was seen by another 100,000 people.

Then in 2005 - the show took on its third shining shape. Starring, once again, Roelof Colyn and introducing Capetonian Jeremy Quickfall and touring to another 50,000 people and racked up its 750th performance.

In 2008, 21 year old Jonathan Roxmouth paired up with Roelof Colyn and created a magical partnership that reignited the show. Love letters from the press, and great box office were an accurate reflection of the level of synergy, musicality and sheer entertainment that these two achieved. The 2009 -2011 season was a pure triumph. All five cast members who have done the show in its 18 year history joined together on stage for what was an extraordinary night of theatre fire and magic. During 2011 - 2013 there were short tours around the county and trips to Dubai (twice), HIFA, London and New York.

A Handful of Keys runs from April 2 to 27 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with shows from Tuesday to Saturday at 20h00 with extra performances on Saturday and Sunday at 15h00. Booking is through Computicket. For sold houses and block bookings contact Ailsa Windsor on 083 250 2690.