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Friday, February 16, 2018


(Vivienne & Ian von Memerty)

A highly entertaining song and dance journey through top musical favourites. Book now! (Review by Caroline Smart)

“One and One makes three – that’s the meaning of synergy” – this song sets the tone of Synergy, which looks at the relationship between couples. It is currently running at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for a few more days.

Ian von Memerty and his wife Vivienne (Lawrence), who created the concept and the choreography, are joined by Roelof Colyn to offer a highly entertaining song and dance journey through top musical favourites.

Well-suited to Valentine week, this much-loved couple show that they are a perfect match both personally and professionally. It’s been 25 years since they started working together but, as Viv remarks: “We are not hanging up our dancing shoes yet as we are having way too much fun!” This enjoyment of their work is easily apparent as they charm the audience with their light-hearted banter, mock arguments and good dancing partnership.

The show demands a major level of energy from them both but they handle this with aplomb. There are a number of times when Viv makes impressive leaps into Ian’s arms, often to swing down to the floor, and he is there with solid support.

The programme focuses on much-loved numbers from the Gershwin Brothers and the Sherman Brothers as well as Kander and Ebb and Lennon & McCartney. Vivienne, always the picture of elegance with those incredibly long legs, designed the costumes. She appears in a variety of gowns from a wildly fringed number to a deep red velvet evening one. Ian, versatility personified, dons outfits such as Tevye’s for If I Were a Rich Man and a natty suit for the Sherman Brothers section – undeniably my favourite of the evening.

Ian and Viv don’t only concentrate on song and dance. They show their acting skills in playing out dialogue from shows such as Do You Love Me? from Fiddler on the Roof and You Must Meet My Wife from A Little Night Music. Send in the Clowns was beautifully handled and Hey Jude was a real audience favourite!

It’s a simple set with black curtains elegantly offset with white drapes. The keyboard is placed high at the back where Roelof Colyn occasionally shares piano accompaniment with Ian. There is an extensive sofa, solidly built so that the performers can stand and do some energetic movements on it! The large space allows them both plenty of room to dance, especially Vivienne who can show off expansive twirls, sweeping turns and arabesques.

Musical arrangements are by Debbie Quicke and the technical team includes lighting design by David Limbert and sound by Megan Levy. My only wish was that we could have seen more of Roelof Colyn apart from his one solo number.

Synergy runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until Sunday February 18, 2018, with shows tonight at 19h30, tomorrow at 15h00 and 19h30 and Sunday at 15h00. Tickets range from R130 to R145 (R100 concessions) booked through Computicket or cash at the door. Book now, there aren’t many tickets left! – Caroline Smart